A suspect in the rape this week of a worker at the Hill Crest Travel Plaza at 44779 S. Lassen Ave., Avenal, was captured Friday in Kern County, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said.
Michael Donavan Stanford was arrested by the U.S. Marshal's Service Fugitive Task Force in the Lake Isabella area.
Stanford is suspected of forcing his way into an office at the truck stop about 11:30 p.m. Monday and brutally attacking a female employee for more than an hour.
A description of a second man, who allegedly acted as a lookout during the attack, was released Friday. He is described as Hispanic, 30-40 years old, 5-feet 8-inches tall and weighing 200 pounds. He has tattoos on his upper arms.
He drove a forest green car, either a 1993 Toyota Camry or a 1993 Lexus LS400 four-door with chrome "star wheels," investigators said.
Anyone with information can call Sgt. Kevin Smith or detective Virginia Rodriguez at (559) 488-3111.
Would-be abductor of Visalia girl sought
Visalia police are looking for a man who tried to abduct a girl waiting for a bus in front of a school Thursday.
The 10-year-old girl refused the man's request to get into his car and ran back onto the campus of Cottonwood Creek School at 4222 S. Dans St. to report the 3 p.m. incident, police said.
The car was described as a teal two-door. The man reportedly had short, dark hair.
Anyone with information is asked to call Visalia police at (559) 734-8116.
Suspected carjackers arrested after search
A Fresno man said he was bitten by a person who stole his pickup in southeast Fresno, police reported.
Two men were arrested Thursday afternoon in the alleged theft, police Sgt. Carlos Frausto said.
The victim flagged down an officer around 9:15 a.m. and told him he saw his stolen truck being driven around Belmont and Chestnut avenues. The man and the officer searched the nearby neighborhood.
The man found the truck, confronted the driver and passenger and told them to get out. The driver bit the man on the arm before driving away, Frausto said. The man was not seriously injured by the bite.
The officer found the truck in the area of Chestnut and Highway 180. The driver ran and the passenger remained in the truck. The driver was apprehended in the area of Turner and Garden avenues.
A 25-year-old man was booked on charges of parole violation, carjacking and receiving stolen property. A 33-year-old man was arrested on charges of parole violation, carjacking and auto theft.
Credit-card thief rings up charges
Fresno police are asking for help in identifying a fraud suspect in north Fresno and Clovis who charged $13,000 on stolen credit cards.
The suspect, whose identity is not known, entered an unlocked club locker on Oct. 21 and stole credit cards from several wallets.
Within a couple of hours, a Hispanic man age 25 to 35 entered several businesses in Fresno and Clovis and made thousands of dollars in fraudulent credit-card charges. He was last seen driving a white SUV.
He is about 5-feet 9-inches tall and weighs 180 to 220 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to contact detective Doug Reese at (559) 621-6335.
Fire displaces family near Kingsburg
An attic fire in a home near Kingsburg displaced a family Friday night, Fresno County Fire battalion chief Josh Chrisman said.
Fire personnel were sent at 6:47 p.m. to the 14400 block of South Del Rey Avenue. The blaze was contained in about 10 minutes.
Fresno County Fire was assisted by the Kingsburg Fire Department.
The Red Cross is assisting the victims. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Academy wins honor in statewide contest
The Violet Heintz Education Academy picked up top honors in a statewide contest by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control for their 60-second anti-pollution video "It Starts With Me, The Time Is Now."
The academy is a community day school in Fresno.
"The winners absolutely nailed the message," said department director Debbie Raphael. "Pollution prevention is something every person, every business, in every neighborhood can practice."
The teen producers will attend a prime-time screening of their video at the San Francisco Green Film Festival in March and tour a certified green business.
9/11 artifacts will get new home in Clovis
A collection 9/11 artifacts that made up part of the California Memorial and Museum at the Pelco by Schneider Electric plant in Clovis is moving, but staying nearby.
Officials with the company had floated a plan in September to send the items to New York City's recently opened 9/11 museum.
But community members opposed the plan and David McDonald, the retired Pelco chief executive officer, volunteered to take over management of the collection.
The roughly 1,000 items, McDonald said, will be moved in the next four weeks to the Clovis Veterans Memorial District building in downtown Clovis and displayed in the building's lobbies.
McDonald said Friday that Schneider officials "rethought some of their initial decisions and came to an excellent decision for everybody."
Visalia armory will be named for Unger
The California National Guard armory in Visalia will be named the Spc. Daniel Unger Memorial Armory on Veterans Day.
Unger, 19, of Exeter, a member of the California National Guard, was killed in combat in Iraq in 2004. He was ushering Iraqi civilians to a bunker when he was fatally wounded by mortar blasts. He was an Exeter Union High School graduate.
A dedication ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Friday at 1100 N. Akers St.
Fresno VA hospital unveils Wall of Honor
The Fresno Veterans Affairs Hospital will honor service members today by unveiling the fourth phase of its Wall of Honor.
The event will be at the Fresno VA Hospital, 2615 E. Clinton Ave., at 10 a.m.
Plaques etched with the names of members of the military, including 11 killed in the line of duty, will be presented. The addition of 175 new names on 168 plaques include 11 plaques engraved with gold stars indicating service members who were killed in action.
This year's unveiling includes keynote speakers columnist Victor Davis Hanson, KMJ's Paul Loeffler and Gold Star Mom Karen Meredith, whose son was killed in action in Iraq. White doves will be released to commemorate the event.