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Man rescued from storm drain opening
Ceres Fire Department rescue personnel pulled a resident from a storm drainage opening after he fell in trying to retrieve a grandchild's toy.

Augustine Delagrande, 55, fell into the opening in the 1300 block of Tranquil Lane on Tuesday, Dec. 20. Firefighters were able to pull Delagrande up by his feet after he was struck an upsidedown position for probably an hour, police estimate.

Delagrande sustained minor abrasions and was checked out at a local hospital.

A neighbor made the discovery as she returned to her home from the store and saw Delagrande's two young grandchildren, aged 3 and 1 1/2 years old, looking into the storm drain. Not thinking much of what the kids were doing, she put away her purchased items and later noticed the children were still at the sidewalk looking down at the hole. Curious now, the neighbor walked over to the young children to ask where their grandfather was and they pointed down into the hole. The woman was shocked to see Delagrande completely inside the hole, his arms stuck behind him and his feet pointed straight up. At that moment she could hear Delagrande's muffled cries for help.

She called 911 at 2:30 p.m.

Delagrande told police he was tinkering around inside his garage when one of the grandkids dropped something in the drain hole and and he tried to retrieve it by pulling the grate off and reaching inside. He slipped all the way inside.

A similar incident occurred in July when Ceres resident Jared Medeiros, 21, tried to retrieve his wallet and keys from a storm drainage hole in the 2200 block of Hale Aloha Way. Police said Medeiros had been drinking prior to his fall.

Police Lt. Bret Smith said no one should ever attempt to reach into a storm drainage hole to retrieve items.