Clovis News

News briefs: Three stabbed in Fresno

Three people were stabbed in central Fresno on Monday night, police reported.

The first incident occurred shortly after 9 p.m. when a male victim was approached by a man and a woman in a dark Honda near First Street and McKenzie Avenue. The victim was stabbed in an attempted robbery.

The second victim was confronted near Second Street and Iowa Avenue, where he told the pair that he did not have cash. He was stabbed several times. A friend who tried to come to his aid was also stabbed. The victims were taken to Community Regional Medical Center.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP.

Pair arrested in Clovis after police find weapons

Clovis police arrested a man and a woman Friday night after discovering weapons hidden at a Clovis apartment.

Arrested were Art Luna, 36, and Angela Chavez, 46, both of Clovis.

Officers went to Luna's apartment on the 1500 block of DeWitt Avenue Friday evening for a routine parole search. Luna was not at home.

A police dog smelled ammunition and methamphetamine in the apartment, and officers found a rifle, sawed-off shotgun and crossbow hidden in the attic. Police Cpl. Vince Weibert said it is not illegal for a parolee to have a crossbow.

Chavez was arrested at the apartment and booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine.

Luna was later arrested at the Motel 6 at Blackstone and Griffith avenues in Fresno. He was booked into the Fresno County Jail on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, ammunition and an illegally altered firearm and on a parole violation.

Man arrested in truck theft after chase, crash

Brian Hugh Lane, 45, was arrested Saturday near Selma in connection with a stolen pickup.

Fresno County sheriff's spokesman Chris Curtice said deputies attempted to pull over the truck Saturday near Highland and Clarkson avenues.

The driver refused to pull over and accelerated to more than 80 mph, driving into an alfalfa field and down dirt roads and canal banks.

Near Highland and Davis avenues, the driver lost control and crashed into a fence. Lane was taken into custody after a short foot chase.

Several stolen items were found in the bed of the pickup, Curtice said. Lane was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, felony evading, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.

Parolee held after flight, scuffle with deputies

Fresno County sheriff's deputies arrested a wanted parolee Monday after he first fled from deputies and then struggled with them when he was caught, spokesman Chris Curtice said.

Taken into custody was Carlos Silva, 48, of Fresno.

The arrest took place after deputies checked a suspicious car near Kenmore Drive West and Weldon Avenue. A man deputies later identified as Silva ran from the car.

He was found in a detached garage with the help of a police dog, Curtice said. Deputies gave Silva several orders to come out of the garage before they had to remove him. Silva became combative and was arrested after a brief struggle, Curtice said.

Deputies recovered several small plastic baggies, some containing methamphetamine, in the garage where Silva had been hiding.

He was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of narcotics while armed, resisting arrest, the outstanding parole warrant and a parole violation.

7 arrested after taggers deface highway underpass

Seven men were arrested after Madera County sheriff's deputies caught graffiti taggers at an underpass Saturday near Highway 99 and the San Joaquin River.

The men taken into custody about 4 p.m. on suspicion of felony vandalism were Ryan Walters, 24, of Merced; and Joey Cervantes, 18, Jon Gutierrez, 19, Dustin Ayers, 23, Michael Dailey, 20, Andrew Baiza, 27, and Collin Akers, 18, all of Fresno.

All remain in Madera County Jail, said Erica Stuart, Sheriff's Department spokeswoman. Bail was set at $100,000 for each suspect.

Deputies, responding to a tip, seized several dozen cans of spray paint, five-gallon paint buckets and rollers.

"They actually told the deputies that they weren't given permission [to tag], but they didn't think they were doing anything wrong because the county doesn't care," Stuart said.

Anyone who spots taggers is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867.

Man dies in traffic crash

Lenard Brazell, 82, of Tulare died in a traffic accident last week when the 2008 GMC he was driving east on Highway 190 in Tulare County drifted into the other lane, causing a head-on collision with a 2008 Ford.

The accident occurred in light rain about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

The driver of the Ford, Jose Perez Ortiz, 34, of Visalia, and his passenger, Martha Fenton, 26, of Porterville, were injured in the crash. Ortiz was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center, while Fenton was taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.

An autopsy will be done to find out whether a medical condition might have have been a factor in the accident, the California Highway Patrol said.

Man stabbed near Tipton

A 26-year-old man was stabbed several times during an assault Sunday evening east of Tipton.

Jaime Valdez Jr. was treated at Tulare District Hospital for wounds in the buttocks and lower back. The assault occurred about 6 p.m. along Road 136, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department reported. Valdez's injuries were not life-threatening.

Other details of the assault were unclear because Valdez and others refused to provide information to sheriff's deputies.

Tip leads to man's 4th arrest on suspicion of DUI

A tip on the police DUI hotline led to the arrest of Mike Marquez, 51, of Fresno last weekend on suspicion of driving under the influence for the fourth time.

In addition, Fresno police arrested 11 other people on suspicion of driving under the influence during a sobriety checkpoint this weekend in south Fresno.

Fifty vehicles were impounded because the motorists were driving without a license or with a suspended license when stopped at the checkpoint at Tulare and Chestnut avenues, police said.

Police also conducted a decoy operation at 10 businesses this weekend during which two businesses sold alcohol to minors.

Charges against the two businesses are pending with the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Several bar-watch operations also are planned, police said.


Grocery store evacuation proves to be unnecessary

The WinCo Foods store on the 4400 block of West Shaw Avenue west of Blythe Avenue was evacuated about 12:30 p.m. Monday due to a problem in the electrical room of the store.

The Fresno Fire Department dispatched five engines and two trucks to the call, originally reported as a fire, but called back most of the units.

There was no fire, fire spokesman Ken Shockley said.

Fresno home destroyed

A house on the 500 block of Highland Avenue just south of Belmont Avenue east of Fresno was destroyed by a fire that began in a bedroom Monday, Cal Fire spokesman Chris Christopherson said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The owners, Antonio and Celsa Lopez, were not home at the time.

Celsa Lopez returned home from running errands to find the house on fire shortly before 9:30 a.m. and called 911, Christopherson said.

Her husband was at work.

Cal Fire sent four engines, two water tenders and 20 firefighters to the fire.

Damage to the structure was estimated at $130,000, Christopherson said, but firefighters saved contents valued at about $30,000.


Clovis man sentenced in federal tax fraud case

Clovis resident Michael Ray Gorden, 40, was sentenced Monday to 15 months in prison and a year on probation for conspiring to defraud the United States and filing false tax returns.

He pleaded guilty in August.

Prosecutors said Gorden -- president and sole shareholder of Mike Gorden Software Solutions Inc. -- had his company pay at least $339,792 of his personal expenses between 2001 and 2005.

He then falsely concealed the true nature of those expenses and deducted them as business expenses on his company's corporate tax returns.

In addition, Gorden failed to disclose at least $266,454 in disguised personal income that was not part of income reported on his 2001 through 2004 personal tax returns.

That in turn caused his company's corporate income tax for the years ending June 2002, June 2003 and June 2004 to be underreported by at least $93,770.

It also caused his individual income tax from 2001 through 2004 to be underreported by at least $117,525.

Gorden has already repaid approximately $500,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Related stories from Fresno Bee