An 18-year-old Ceres man was arrested Monday evening after he allegedly tried to steal the vehicle of a Good Samaritan who previously stopped to help him after running out of gas.
At 11:40 p.m. Officer Eric Gallegos was rolling by the AM/PM at Hatch and Richland and saw what appeared to be a verbal argument near a black SUV at the gas pumps. A man near the SUV was trying to get Officer Gallegos’ attention so as Gallegos drove to the station, the other man, later identified as Mason Salazar, 18, of Ceres, fled on foot.
The victim was bleeding from a laceration to his right eye and explained that he previously stopped to help push a car that ran out of gas on South Ninth Street near B Street. The victim agreed to drive Salazar to the AM/PM to get gas. Once at the AM/PM, the victim went in and paid for some gas using money Salazar had given him. But when he returned to his vehicle, Salazar asked the victim to go back into the store and buy some tea.
When the victim started to walk back into the store, he realized that he had left the keys inside his vehicle. When he turned around, he saw Salazar in the driver seat. He ran back to his vehicle and got the passenger door opened before Salazar could lock it.
Salazar attempted to drive off but the victim fought him off. Salazar was able to get away from the victim after striking him in the face with a gas can. That was when Gallegos entered the scene.
Officers set up a perimeter and with the help of a Stanislaus County Sheriff Department canine, apprehended Salazar in the 1500 block of Bernice Drive.
He was arrested and faces charges of carjacking and resisting arrest.