A 36-year-old Ceres driver was arrested Monday, Jan. 5 after she allegedly ran into a parked vehicle, and struck a man while trying to make a mad dash from the scene.
Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jose Berber said the hit-and-run occurred at 9:45 a.m. at Whitmore Market, 2362 Whitmore Ave. He said Analisha Melendrez, 36, of Ceres, was driving a tan Honda SUV when she backed into a white Toyota Corolla driven by Rajwant Sandhu, 40 of Turlock. The two drivers were trying to communicate about the collision but were unsuccessful due of a language barrier, said Sgt. Berber. That prompted bystander Robert Blanchard, 61, of Ceres, to walk over to help. That's when Melendrez allegedly got back into the Honda and accelerated from the parking lot, striking Blanchard. The victim was thrown backwards to the ground.
When police arrived, Blanchard was sitting in a chair with muscle spasms and a lot of pain.
Police reviewed surveillance video of the parking lot and were able to identity Melendrez from previous contacts. Police also obtained her license plate.
Officers went to the Melendrez residence in the 2600 block of Roeding Road where her husband told police that they owned one car that was not a Honda SUV and that he did not know where his wife was located.
Later in the day they returned to the house where the husband was adamant about her not being at home and stated again that they didn't own a tan Honda. However, a second officer could see into the garage under a partially rolled up door and spotted a Honda SUV undercarriage. He stuck his head under and saw the license plate linked to the hit and run. The officer peeked over the side yard fence and spotted Melendrez hiding out. She was arrested and charged with unsafe backing and hit and run.
When asked why she didn't turn herself in, Melendrez said she was trying to gather the bail money first.