Three 17-year-old boys were in custody Monday morning after rampaging through a neighborhood in east-central Fresno, smashing windows, stealing a television out of a home, kicking and vandalizing cars, and fighting with police.
The mini-riot ended at Dakota and Fordham avenues, where police arrived shortly after one of the suspects smashed a window with a shovel where a 2-year-old normally sleeps inside.
“They tried to kill my baby,” said a tearful, nearly hysterical woman. “I don’t want to talk right now.”
Neighbors said the woman and her husband were at work and the baby’s grandmother was taking care of the infant when the window was broken in. A shovel was lying on a sidewalk nearby. The incident occurred around 9 a.m.
Across the street, about a dozen police officers who hurried to the scene from other parts of the city took the juveniles into custody after a brief scuffle in front of another house.
A large picture window at that home was smashed and police and neighbors said at least two of the juveniles went through the window and stole a large television. The neighbors said a woman was at home, cowering with several children, as the two walked out with the television, which lay smashed in the driveway.
Police said there were two females with the male suspects during the rampage. Sgt. Todd Miller said they would not be arrested because they had not taken part in the vandalism. Miller said officers were trying to talk to victims to determine what laws had been broken.
After the violence ended, neighbors poured into the street, shaking their heads and discussing what had occurred. At least three ambulances arrived and the arrested juveniles were placed inside to ensure that they had not been injured while being arrested.
“Why are they in ambulances instead of police cars?” demanded one woman.
Jennifer Garcia, who lives near the home where the television was stolen, said she saw the juveniles coming down the street breaking windows.
“I told them to calm down,” she said. “It did nothing. Then they saw a police car and they didn’t even run. They started arguing with the police officer.”
Another neighbor, who said he did not want to be identified, said he saw one of the juveniles fighting with police.
“It took two cops to get him down,” he said. “Then he got up again. He was strong. This is what you see on TV. I can’t believe this (stuff).”
The three teens were being held at the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus.