Carjacker gets prison time; laser pointer released, fined

A Santee man who carjacked a 77-year-old woman and assaulted an inmate in jail weeks later was sentenced March 26 to seven years in state prison.

Christopher Frank DiSalvo, Jr., 31, got credit for 263 days previously spent in jail by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Daniel Lamborn.

DiSalvo received seven years for the carjacking of a woman outside a Santee restaurant at 1 p.m. on June 19, 2020. He stole her purse and cell phone, and crashed the car into a tree in the 4600 block of Palm Drive in La Mesa.

He received three years for an assault upon a 55-year-old inmate on July 9, 2020 in the central jail, but Lamborn ordered the three year term to run concurrently and not consecutively.

DiSalvo was ordered to pay $7,263 to two men whose cars he stole in separate incidents. DiSalvo stole a Jeep Cherokee from a man who left his car running while he talked to a motel clerk.

Another man lost his car and some belongings after meeting DiSalvo on a gay dating website.  That victim woke up to discover his wallet and car were missing.

Deputy District Attorney James Koerber said DiSalvo faced up to 14 years in prison before he reached a plea agreement.  He pleaded guilty Feb. 26 to carjacking an elder and to felony assault.

Three counts of auto theft and evading police with reckless driving were dismissed against DiSalvo after he pleaded guilty to the other two charges.

After DiSalvo crashed the stolen car, sheriff’s deputies administered a dose of Naloxone, a lifesaving nasal spay that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose after DiSalvo showed symptoms of a drug overdose after his arrest. Deputies said DiSalvo admitted taking drugs before the carjacking.


A Lemon Grove man was released from jail March 22 after being sentenced to credit for time served—4 ½ months in jail—for shining a laser beam into a police helicopter during a protest march.

Rudy Alvarez, 25, was convicted by a federal jury Nov. 18, 2020, of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft during a march downtown of people protesting the slaying of George Floyd, in Minneapolis at 9:45 p.m. on June 6, 2020.

His attorney, Holly Sullivan, asked U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns for the credit for time served sentence he received.

Prosecutors asked him for an 18-month federal prison.

He had been free on bond, but was remanded to jail after the jury convicted him. He tested positive for COVID-19 while in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, his attorney said.

Sullivan said Alvarez did not know what the risk of pointing a laser at an aircraft could be. He has no previous criminal record.  His girlfriend and other friends watched the sentencing in court.

Sullivan said Alvarez could get his job back if he was released with credit for time served. She said he was “a young shy man.”

Alvarez said he spent the four months in jail thinking “how regretful and sorry I am to put somebody in danger…it’s pretty much eating me up every day.”

Alvarez said he led a vegan lifestyle and was involved with his church.

The judge said he thought Alvarez did it to prevent cameras from taking pictures of the marchers because he also shined the laser at a streetlight which also has cameras which take photos and are given to police.

“We are living in very contentious times,” said Burns. “I think he was caught up in the moment.”

The judge said Alvarez had never been in jail before. “You won’t repeat (laser pointing), will you?” asked Burns.

“Absolutely not,” said Alvarez.

“No more laser pointing,” said Burns.

“You got it,” replied Alvarez.

The judge declined to fine him, but ordered he pay a $100 penalty assessment fee.