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Man reading book in park beat up, robbed
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Ceres Police are seeking clues to identify the two black men who beat up and robbed a man who was reading books in Don Pedro Park on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 8.

A 26-year-old Ceres man reported he was sitting at a park bench reading books when two black adults approached him for a cigarette. When he said he didn't have any the men began striking and punching the victim who fell to the ground where he was kicked until unconscious. He came to and found that his backpack containing 15 books was missing.

The attack occurred at 2:38 p.m. at the park, located at 3630 Blaker Road.

Ceres Police Lt. Brent Smith said the victim was "pretty beat up," with one eye swollen shut. He was taken to a Modesto hospital for treatment of injuries.

The only description of the suspects was that they were African American and in their 20s.

The following other crimes occurred in the Ceres/South Modesto area in the past week:

• TRAFFIC STOP NETS DUI, DRUG ARREST - Officer Brittney England observed violations involving a 2002 GMC Yukon in the 1600 block of Hatch Road last week and arrested both the driver and passenger.

England pulled over the driver at 11:34 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11 and suspected that driver Javier Oriegel-Cervantes, 38, of Modesto, was intoxicated. She arrested him on charges of DUI and then turned her attention to passenger Lucia Nava, 31, who was searched and found with several pre-packaged baggies of cocaine. Nava was arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sales.

• MAN ARRESTED WITH METH - Bobby Moss, 41, of Ceres, who had a warrant for his arrest, tried to outrun an officer over the weekend but ended up being Tasered instead.

Officer Freddie Ortiz was patrolling the 3700 block of Skeena Avenue at 12:50 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12 when he spotted Moss, who immediately started to run and threw a bag of methamphetamine onto one of the front lawns. Ortiz employed a Taser to stop Moss. The suspect then complied with his arrest.

The drugs were recovered and taken in as evidence. Moss was arrested on charges of possession of meth, delaying an officer and the original warrant.

• ONE DEAD IN GANG SHOOTING: SOUTH MODESTO - A 21-year-old man was shot to death in the Shackelford area of south Modesto on Saturday evening and one suspect was arrested in the investigation.

The shooting occurred before 11 p.m. near the intersection of Santa Fe and El Paso avenues off of Crows Landing Road north of Hatch Road. Callers said a man, David Cruz, 21, of Modesto, was down next to a bicycle in the roadway. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds which were fatal.

Cruz was identified as being in a suspected gang confrontation with Adam Botello, 31, of Modesto, just before the shooting. Two other suspects were with Botello when someone other than Botello opened fire on Cruz. All fled the scene.

Botello's arrest came under the felony murder rule which stipulates that anyone involved in a felony, such as gang participation, may be charged during the killing of a person.

Anyone with information on the crime or other suspects is urged to anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tips may also be texted anonymously to 274637 and typing TIP704 in with the message. Persons who supply tips may be eligible for a cash reward.

• SHOTS FIRED IN RESIDENTIAL AREA - Reports of shots being fired in the 2300 block of Millcreek Drive on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 8 led to a police discovery of 11 9-mm casings in the roadway.

Police searched the area and found no cars or houses hit by bullets in the 9:28 p.m. crime.

• MATTRESS TAKEN BY JUVENILES - Two boys, aged 13 and 14, were cited into the juvenile justice system after they were caught wheeling home a brand-new wrapped mattress they allegedly stole from Liquidation Outlet at 2301 Fairview Drive, in broad daylight on Monday, Jan. 6.

A delivery truck driver was rolling down Whitmore Avenue at 1:30 p.m. when he spotted the two boys rolling the mattress down the sidewalk atop the freeway overpass on a skateboard and thought it looked suspicious.

Officer Ross Bays located the boys in an alley behind 2000 block of Hollister Street with a new twin mattress being pushed on a skateboard. One of the boys was on probation for theft and they admitted they should not have taken it after being it leaning against the outside wall of the business.

He cited both children out to a guardian for violation of probation and petty theft.

• STUDENT HIT BY VEHICLE: CERES - Police are investigating a Blaker Road crash involving an eighth-grader who was struck by a 2001 Isuzu utility vehicle after school let out on Friday.

The boy sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Memorial Medical Center.

Police say the 2:21 p.m. crash occurred when the student attempted to run across Blaker Road south of Kinser Road and was struck.

The incident is being investigated.