News briefs, Dec. 15


Two teenagers arrested in Fresno carjacking

A teenager was dragged from his vehicle by two other teens who stole his car in northeast Fresno on Sunday morning, police said.

The 17-year-old boy told police he was in the 2500 block of East Holland Avenue about 1 a.m. when he was beaten and dragged from his 2001 Daewoo sedan by two attackers, who then drove away with his car.

Officers followed the stolen vehicle west on Ashlan Avenue near Blackstone Avenue. The sedan pulled into a parking lot where police arrested two 17-year-old boys on suspicion of carjacking. The boys were taken to Fresno County Juvenile Hall, according to Fresno police.

Fresno man dies in crash

A Fresno man died Sunday morning in a vehicle crash in northeast Fresno, according to the Fresno County Coroner's Office.

Christopher Morel, 24, of Fresno died in a solo vehicle collision shortly before 6 a.m. at Copper and Chestnut avenues near the Copper River Country Club.

15-year-old arrested in Tulare Co. armed robbery

A 15-year-old boy was arrested Saturday in connection with a robbery on the 12500 block of First Drive in Cutler, according to the Tulare County Sheriff's Department.

The victim told sheriff's deputies that four people, some armed with a handgun and a knife, stole money from him about 9:26 p.m. Saturday. The victim identified one of the suspects, who was later arrested and booked at the Tulare County juvenile detention facility.

Reedley man arrested in car theft, hit-and-run

Visalia police arrested a Reedley man on suspicion of stealing a car, hit-and-run, resisting arrest and other charges early Sunday morning.

The victim, a 40-year-old Delano woman, reported at 2:34 a.m. Sunday that Lawrence Valencia, 26, of Reedley stole her car, Visalia police said. The woman knows Valencia, police said.

Officers spotted the car on Mooney Boulevard at Walnut Avenue and tried to pull it over, but the driver sped away, then collided with a curb and a street sign when he tried to turn at the 500 block of South Mooney Boulevard, police said.

The driver ran, but police found him hiding behind a shed in a backyard.

50 jailed in crackdown

Fresno police arrested 50 people late Saturday as part of a gangs and gun operation police have been conducting to reduce violence.

A handgun was recovered as part of the operation.

Sobriety operation adds 11 arrests, 38 impounds

Fresno police arrested 11 people Saturday during a sobriety operation in the city and impounded 38 vehicles.

Saturday's operation brings this month's total checkpoint arrests to 64 and the total impounds to 210.


Neighbor rescues Planada woman as house burns

An elderly Planada woman was hospitalized with burns Sunday after fire destroyed most of her Pico Street home.

The swift actions of one good Samaritan, however, may have saved her life.

About 25 Cal Fire firefighters were dispatched to the 8 N. Pico St. address at 12:07 p.m. By then, at least half of the 700-square-foot home was engulfed in flames, according to fire department engineer Karl Waite.

By the time firefighters arrived, the occupant already had been rescued by a quick-acting neighbor.

Gabe George, the woman's 30-year-old neighbor, heard an explosion and ran next door to help his neighbor, a woman in her 80s he identified as Isabel Rodriguez. George carried Rodriguez out of the home.

Rodriguez was taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Waite said. She suffered from facial burns and smoke inhalation. Her condition is unknown.

No other houses were damaged by the fire.