A gun-toting gang member carjacked a U.S. Postal Service van Friday morning, but the fleet-footed mail carrier managed to chase down the van and foil the theft in southeast Fresno.
The mailman was delivering mail on Maple Avenue between Huntington Boulevard and Kings Canyon Road at about 11 a.m. when he felt someone jump onto the bumper of the van.
The suspect, identified by police as James Gay, a 35-year-old Sanger Bulldog gang member, came into the van through the driver’s side door, pulled the carrier from the driver’s seat and threw him to the ground. Fresno Police Lt. Stephen Viveros said that as Gay started to drive away, the carrier caught up to the van and was able to shift the transmission into park and remove the ignition key.
Viveros said Gay got out of the van and chased the carrier to get the key back. But when nearby residents saw the chase and came to help the mailman, Gay ran off through the neighborhood as police arrived. He was nabbed by officers, and the mailman and witnesses identified him as the would-be thief.
The carrier didn’t realize during the encounter that Gay had a gun. Officers found the lower half of a pistol on the ground next to the mail van, and Gay had the other half when he was caught, police said.
Gay was already on parole for weapons charges. He was booked into the Fresno County Jail and is accused of felony carjacking and weapons violations.