May 24, 2018 – Recent media reports and social media posts have suggested that a young man named Aaron Salazar was found along the railroad tracks in Truckee, CA and that he was possibly the victim of an assault and hate crime that occurred in Truckee. It is the policy and best practice of most public safety organizations to not comment on another agency’s investigation, particularly if that investigation is active. However, since much of the information that is circulating on social media and in some news stories is inaccurate, speculative, or simply false, the Truckee Police Department would like to clarify a few things.
First and foremost, our most sincere and heartfelt thoughts are with Aaron, the Salazar family, and his friends. We are worried for Aaron, and want him to quickly recover.
We are not actively involved in the investigation and do not know what happened to Aaron or what the investigation might reveal. Amtrak is the most appropriate authority for this investigation being that all information indicates that the incident was confined to occurring on an Amtrak train. Amtrak Police clearly have jurisdiction over incidents connected to their trains and it is important to allow the investigative process to divulge what likely happened.
On May 15, 2018, at approximately 11:30 a.m., the Truckee Police Department responded to a call regarding a person lying near the railroad tracks at the far east end of Truckee. When officers arrived, they located a person with significant injuries laying only feet from the railroad tracks. That person was quickly identified as Aaron. Officers assisted with medical aid, and Aaron was transported to Renown Medical Center in Reno, NV.
It was almost immediately discovered that Aaron was a ticketed passenger on the west bound Amtrak train that had passed through Truckee earlier that morning. Because the incident originated and appeared to be entirely contained on the Amtrak train, the Truckee Police Department turned over the investigation after our preliminary response. Aaron never disembarked in Truckee, as he never made it to the Truckee station, and there is no information to suggest Aaron had any connection to Truckee or interactions with anyone from Truckee.
The Truckee Police Department will never allow a conspiracy or cover-up to occur regarding any incident or investigation. Any suggestions to the contrary reflect a lack of factual information or knowledge of our organization and community. The Truckee Police Department will also never allow a crime against the LGBTQIA community to go unaddressed or uninvestigated. A case where a hate crime was committed would be addressed to the fullest extent of our capabilities. The Truckee community is not in danger and never was. We did not release information out of professional curtesy to Amtrak and to protect the investigative process as well as the confidentiality of the Salazar family.
We understand how frustrating it can be to not have all the information when there is genuine concern and a desire to help. The Truckee Police Department has no control over the release of substantive information in this incident, since another agency is handling the investigation. We do ask, out of respect for Aaron, his family and for the investigative process that speculation, guessing, or rumors not be the basis for drawing conclusions.
Any information that might help the investigation or any requests for information should be directed to Amtrak Police at (800) 331-0008.
Keep Aaron and his family in your thoughts.
Chief of Police, Truckee Police Department