A 31-year-old Ceres man was arrested Sunday morning after he rammed the vehicle of a man who was driving a woman away from the scene of a party where a fight was escalating.
The hit-and-run crash at Magnolia and Ninth streets was reported at 6:19 a.m.
Officer Alex Ochoa investigated and learned that the driver of the damaged car had been at a party and saw Jimmie Wheeler Jr., 31, of Ceres, arguing with a woman. The victim was acquainted with both Wheeler and the female and offered to take the her home to avoid the situation from escalating. The two left but Wheeler followed in his own car and gunned his car into the rear of the victim’s at Ninth and Magnolia, spinning it around.
Wheeler allegedly walked up to the driver side of the victim’s vehicle and punched the victim in the head while making threats to kill him. Wheeler reached through the open driver’s window and stole the keys. He then reportedly walked around to the passenger side and wrestled away the keys to the woman’s vehicle before taking off.
Wheeler was spotted on foot a short time later on Central Avenue near Hackett Road. Wheeler ran when he saw officers but was captured after a brief chase. Wheeler had tossed the keys belonging to the woman as he ran. They were recovered and returned to her. The keys to the victim’s car were not located.
Wheeler’s vehicle was found at his home nearby with front-end damage.
Wheeler was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, resisting arrest, battery and making criminal threats.