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Man shot over pot crop
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A 22-year-old Ceres man was shot in the shoulder early Saturday morning by someone believed to be raiding his backyard marijuana plants.

Police received calls about a gunshot at 1901 Walnut Avenue at 3:54 a.m. Police found the victim suffering from a bullet wound. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his wound.

The victim was one of three males living at the house who were cultivating 45 marijuana plants that had grown to a height of six to 10 feet. He went outside to check on the backyard after hearing distressing cries of backyard goats they were keeping there. A shot rang out from the darkness.

Police seek clues from the public to crack the case, which is being classified as an attempted homicide. Anyone with information is urged to call Ceres detectives at 538-5727.

Ceres Police Department also reported the following noteworthy crimes and accidents:

• AUTO THEFT SUSPECT GETS AWAY - An auto theft suspect avoided capture on Saturday after he managed to lose a Ceres police officer who chased him into the Modesto Airport district.

The chase began at 1:45 a.m. when Officer Frederico "Freddy" Ortiz attempted to stop the driver of a white 1994 Honda for traffic violations at Joy and Whitmore avenues. The officer activated his red lights but the suspect accelerated onto northbound Mitchell Road and into Modesto. Officer Ortiz lost the suspect due to the dust kicked up when the chase entered an alley way.

Ortiz headed back to Ceres without a suspect but hours later Modesto police attended to the vehicle after it had been set on fire.

The Honda had been stolen the day before.

• MAN ASSAULTS PARAMEDIC - Mark Sevick, 54, of Ceres was arrested Sunday after he assaulted and injured a paramedic who was treating him after he passed out after an alleged drinking binge.

Medical aid was called at 6:35 p.m. because it was believed that Sevick was suffering a seizure at 2845 Hatch Road. The paramedic was giving Sevick oxygen when the victim came to and began fighting a Pro Transport 1 paramedic and Ceres firefighters. Police had to be called to take Sevick into custody. Authorities found it was difficult getting him under control because he was without clothes and his skin was sweaty.

He allegedly became violent at the hospital where he was taken for further treatment. Sevick was booked on an assault charge.

• CAR THEFT INTERRUPTED BY OFFICER - Reports of a suspicious person milling around a 1996 Honda Civic proved warranted on Thursday when the responding police officer found the car was being stolen.

Officer Ross Bays was dispatched to the 1300 block of River Valley Circle to check out the suspicious person but saw it being driven off. Officer Bays chased the stolen car for under three minutes until it was headed off at Rivercreek Drive and Moffet Avenue by Officer Ron Collins who blocked it with his patrol vehicle.

The suspect, Mitchell Grubber, 29, of Modesto, was booked on auto theft charges as well as two prior warrants.

The Honda had been stolen in Modesto on Aug. 14.

• PAROLEE AT LARGE ARRESTED - The spotting of an at-large Ceres parolee touched off a perimeter being set up, a search and his eventual arrest on Sunday, Aug. 18.

Police spotted Jason Qualls, 33, at 10:30 a.m. in the area of Standford and Rose avenues. Qualls immediately took off running into the residential area.

Officer Pat Dayton found Qualls hiding under a trailer and refusing to come out. Qualls tried to run away again but was stopped by Dex, Officer Coey Henson's police canine. The dog clamped onto Qualls' leg and officers were able to arrest him.

Qualls was charged with parole violation.

• CHILD HURT BY CAR - A small child sustained minor injuries after falling beneath of a moving car in the 1700 block of Northwood Heights. The child became stuck underneath the car at around 1 p.m. on Sunday.

• MAN FIGHTS OFFICERS AFTER CHASE - A Turlock man was arrested Sunday evening by Ceres police after he crashed his car while trying to run from them.

At 9:32 p.m. Ceres Police officers Dirk Niewenhuis and Brian Albonetti attempted to stop the driver of a black 1994 Saturn at Hatch and Richland for traffic violations. Instead of pulling over, driver Joseph Sweet, 35, of Turlock, led the officers on a pursuit that went on for a few moments before the Saturn crashed at 1647 River Road. Sweet was unable to exit the crashed car so police attempted to remove him through the front windshield. Sweet put up a brief fight, attempting to grab Niewenhuis' firearm out of its holster, said Ceres Police Lt. Brent Smith. The officers struck Sweet to gain control of him and placed him in handcuffs.

Sweet was taken to a local hospital where he received medical clearance before he was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, leading police on a pursuit and obstructing or delaying a peace officer.