Black eyes, threats, slurs: Sacramento cop killer suspect’s rap sheet goes back years

Watch jarring police bodycam footage from Tara O’Sullivan’s partner

Police bodycam footage, presented at a press conference Friday, June 21, 2019, shows fallen Officer Tara O’Sullivan’s training officer, Daniel Chipp, taking cover Wednesday and broadcasting the gunman’s use of a high-powered rifle.
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Police bodycam footage, presented at a press conference Friday, June 21, 2019, shows fallen Officer Tara O’Sullivan’s training officer, Daniel Chipp, taking cover Wednesday and broadcasting the gunman’s use of a high-powered rifle.

Adel Sambrano Ramos has had problems with women long before he was charged with shooting Sacramento police Officer Tara O’Sullivan to death last week.

He has been accused of domestic violence by his wife since 1998 and of making threats against an ex-girlfriend whose life he vowed to “make a living hell.” He has allegedly used racist slurs against a 13-year-old neighbor he called a “monkey” and another he called a “n-----,” court records say.

But the longest stretch he has served in jail to date is 15 days, according to available Sacramento Superior Court records that catalog the allegations he has faced from women and others in his life, and his latest arrest stems from a call for help to police from a woman.

Ramos, 45, faces murder and other charges in the June 19 slaying of O’Sullivan, a 26-year-old police officer who was helping the fiancee move her belongings out of the Ramos family home following a domestic disturbance.

The day after O’Sullivan’s slaying, Ramos’ estranged wife defended him, telling The Bee that he “was a good man and a good father.”

But she described him differently in court records that depict violent outbursts dating back to Christmas Day 1998, when Ramos allegedly left his wife with bruises, a black eye and knots on top of her head.

That description is included in an application for a restraining order filed July 11, 2003, a day after Ramos allegedly beat on the family home’s front door and tried to break into the bedroom windows.

Two weeks prior to that, she wrote, he was “calling and leaving harassing voicemails, wishing I were dead, threatening to take my children away.”

The Sacramento Bee is not naming Ramos’ wife or other women in his life who have sought protection from him because they are alleged victims of domestic violence. But their allegations portray him as a man with a violent temper whose threats extended to their own family members.

In April 2007, an ex-girlfriend who was then 22 sought a temporary restraining order against him, saying he had threatened her repeatedly.

The TRO was denied by the court, saying the application “needs more.” But the woman described a series of disturbing contacts with Ramos.

The first incident was in February 2007, she wrote in court documents.

“He told me he wanted all the gifts he gave me back,” she wrote. “I told him it was (too) late for me to take the train to give his stuff back.

“He said if i didn’t bring the stuff that he would come to my house, make a scene and get me evicted.”

A month later, the woman heard from him again, she wrote.

“He told me I was a bitch, whore, slut and that my family and I are ghetto,” she wrote in court filings.

By April 12, 2007, Ramos apparently was seeking to reconcile with her, she wrote, and erupted when she declined.

“He called me and asked me if we could get back together,” she wrote. “I told him no and he began to curse at me.

“I hung up and he called me back and left a message and said, ‘If I’m miserable, I am going to make you and your families’ lives a living hell.”

At the same time the ex-girlfriend was having difficulty with Ramos, his wife also was reporting problems to law enforcement, writing in court papers that she filed three police reports about him since April 3, 2007.

His wife reported that since they split up in April 2003 he had called her home repeatedly, threatened to hurt her, their children and other family members, hit her with a cell phone and called her a “f------ bitch.”

Ramos apparently forged a new relationship sometime after that, moving into a home in north Sacramento on Redwood Avenue with a 41-year-old woman who describes Ramos in court papers as her fiancé.

That home is where Ramos allegedly ambushed O’Sullivan after stockpiling four firearms and a massive amount of ammunition, opening fire as O’Sullivan helped a woman get her belongings out of the house.

Whole residential blocks surrounding Ramos’ home in the city’s Noralto neighborhood remained cordoned off by yellow crime tape Wednesday as Sacramento police investigators continued their work.

Patrol cars were stationed roadside and at street corners across the sprawling scene.

Inside the blockade, a day before O’Sullivan memorial service in Roseville, uniformed Sacramento police were quietly busy in and around the Ramos home, its perimeter surrounded by red caution tape.

Traffic from nearby El Camino Avenue to the north and Traction Avenue to the south were the only sounds. Nearby, on Grove Avenue, blue ribbons to honor the fallen officer were lashed to light posts still strung with yellow tape.

A portable canopy erected beside Sacramento and Folsom police mobile incident command vehicles a few yards away served as a gathering spot for detectives and crime scene technicians.

This is the neighborhood where Ramos was living with his girlfriend, son and daughter.

But his time there before last week’s shooting was far from peaceful.

Sacramento Superior Court records filed in May 2018 describe a dispute between the Ramos household and Tina Solomon, a grandmother who lives down the street.

Ramos’ girlfriend sought a restraining order against the neighbors in May 2018 alleging, that three children – ages 14, 11 and 6 or 7 – were threatening to break into Ramos’ home and stealing bricks from their retaining wall.

“The children wait for Adel Ramos to harass him when he goes for a bike ride, and yell at him when he is alone,” she wrote. “They also involve other children.”

The Solomon family had a different view of events.

“My family has been harassed verbally by Adel Sambrano for over 3 years,” Tina Solomon wrote. “He constantly and verbally and (consistently) harasses my minor grandsons.

“This has gone on since 2016. It has progressed toward violent verbal abuse toward my now 14-year-old and 11-year-old grandchildren.”

Solomon also accused Ramos of threatening her 14-year-old grandson by calling him “monkey” and throwing slices of banana at him.

“I have video of him throwing a basketball that he deflated into his chest and taunting him into a fight,” she wrote. “A neighbor that witnessed the assault intervened.

“My children are constantly looking over their shoulders when any member of the family is outside.”

Tina Solomon declined to comment Wednesday, but that complaint led to a misdemeanor battery complaint being filed against Ramos in November.

He remained out of custody, even after he failed to appear for a February hearing, and that case is pending along with the murder charge and other counts.

Ramos is now being held without bail and is on suicide watch after ramming his head into his bunk. His next court hearing is set for July 22.

Sam Stanton has worked for The Bee since 1991 and has covered a variety of issues, including politics, criminal justice and breaking news.
Darrell Smith covers courts and California news for The Sacramento Bee. He joined The Bee in 2006 and previously worked at newspapers in Palm Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Marysville. A Sacramento Valley native, Smith was born and raised at Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville.