A young man was shot by police with a bean bag shotgun round Saturday after he taunted officers and refused to comply with orders during a high-risk felony stop in the 2500 block of Whitmore Avenue.
The incident unfolded when police officer Jeremy Lewis pulled over a female driver in a 1994 Chevy Blazer at 1:03 a.m. The driver, Vanessa Muhammad, 33, of Ceres, ran from Officer Lewis on foot from Sixth Street and Whitmore Avenue. Muhammad was captured and arrested for violating of probation and driving on a suspended driver's license.
At the same time, however there were reports of a second subject possibly running eastbound on Whitmore Avenue. Another report said a male was chasing a female with a gun.
Police located a suspicious bronze colored Cadillac Escalade behind the Richland Ace Hardware store. The vehicle was stopped with three subjects inside who appeared to sport gang tattoos and attire. Sgt. James Yandell approached the vehicle on foot and heard a man screaming curses at him so he retreated and waited for backup since there was a belief that the suspects may have been armed.
Officers came to the location where a high-risk felony stop was made to pull each occupant from the car at gunpoint. Driver Francisco Martinez, 23, of Ceres, was arrested on charges of drunken driving since he had a blood alcohol content of 0.21.
Front seat passenger Joseph Martinez, 26, of Ceres, continued to make threats against officers. He was removed from the Escalade but continued to shout obscenities and threats to officers and walked toward them despite officers' orders to place his hands in sight and lay on the ground. Martinez allegedly reached back into the SUV when told to turn around. He also dropped his hands to his waist near his pockets and turned to face officers. Officer Joe Wren believed that Martinez may have been reaching for a gun so he released police canine Zeus to attack. The dog bit Martinez on the right forearm but he continued to face officers with his hands near his waist. Still threatening officers, a .12-gauge bean bag round was fired at his abdomen, which dropped him to the ground but Martinez failed to show his hands so Officer Freddie Ortiz struck Martinez with a baton.
Before paramedics came to treat Martinez he allegedly told officers that Andres Raya was one of his "homies" and that he was glad he shot officers in 2005. Raya murdered Sgt. Howard Stevenson and shot then officer Sam Ryno during a Jan. 9, 2005 incident. Martinez also threatened Officer Wren.
Martinez's wound required five stitches.
"They were all very intoxicated," said Lt. Brent Smith.
The third occupant, Rashad Williams, 26, of Ceres, was cooperative and was transported to his home because he was unable to care for himself.