A homeless man sleeping in a vacant area went to the hospital early Wednesday morning after he was run over by a vehicle fleeing police.
Two were arrested in connection with the chase and crash, which occurred at 2:36 a.m. on August 27.
A Ceres Police sergeant was patrolling in the area of San Pedro and Georgeanne when he was flagged down by a person who reported just observing a reckless driver driving without headlights in the area. Additional officers responded and located the white GMC Sierra pickup at Georgeanne and Hackett where they tried to stop the driver. Instead the driver fled the scene, speeding with the headlights off.
The police pursuit ended when the pickup driver crashed through a fence at the southeast corner of Hackett and Central and became disabled. Two occupants of the pickup tried to run off but were apprehended. Arrested were Damien Bartlett, 21, of Ceres, who was charged with auto theft, possession of stolen property, and evading a police officer; and passenger Shaun Neuman, 20, of Ceres, who was charged with possession of stolen property.
After the pair was taken into custody, officers heard a man moaning in pain inside the vacant lot. Police said transient Stephen Hammonds had been run over by the pickup when it barreled into the homeless encampment. Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. James Yandell said the lot was overgrown with trees and bushes. The injured man was taken to a local hospital for treatment of several broken ribs and a bruised lung.