News Briefs


Man arrested after he flees from courtroom

A Fresno man was arrested Monday on suspicion of battery on a deputy with injury, escape and felony vandalism, a Fresno County sheriff's spokesman said.

Johnny Chohan, 42, was appearing before Judge James Petrucelli in dependency court on the 1200 block of Fulton Mall on Monday morning and became argumentative with Petrucelli when he learned he was facing jail time for a probation violation, spokesman Chris Curtice said. He said Chohan then tried to run out the courthouse, but two deputies restrained him in the lobby and arrested him.

Three killed in crash ID'd

The Fresno County Coroner's Office on Monday identified three people who died Sunday night when a single vehicle hit a tree on Piedra Road at Kings Canyon Road.

The California Highway Patrol said that the 2003 Acura RSX was southbound on Piedra when the driver lost control.

Dead are Vang Vue, 18, Pao Vang, 17, and Mike Xiong, 18, all of Fresno. Kangwa Chang, 18, of Fresno was taken to Community Regional Medical Center with major injuries.

Man, 25, killed outside liquor store is identified

A man who died Saturday night after being shot outside a Fresno liquor store was identified by the Fresno County Coroner's Office as Arturo Vuniga, 25.

Officers responded at 8:38 p.m. to the store on the 4700 block of East Kings Canyon Road and found the wounded Vuniga. He died at Community Regional Medical Center.

Tractor runs over worker

An industrial accident near Dinuba early Monday caused major injuries to a worker after he was run over by a tractor.

The accident was reported on the 42200 block of Road 92, near the northeast edge of the city. Tulare County Fire Division Chief Joe Garcia said the incident occurred as the man walked behind a tractor that was unloading crates from a trailer. The tractor backed over him, running over his right arm and torso.

"He had major injuries, but was conscious and alert and in a lot of pain," Garcia said.

He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, but Garcia did not know which hospital.

Victim ID'd in motorcycle crash near Coarsegold

The person killed Saturday evening in a motorcycle crash on Highway 41 near Coarsegold has been identified as Suzanna Coronado, 31, of Livingston.

She was a passenger on the motorcycle driven by Michael Coronado, the California Highway Patrol reported. The motorcycle was headed south on Highway 41 near Road 416 shortly before 6 p.m. when Michael Coronado applied the vehicle's brakes and lost control.

Michael Coronado was taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno with major injuries, the CHP said.

Search on Kings cut back

The search for a 25-year-old Southern California woman reported missing as a possible drowning victim Friday afternoon has been scaled back, according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Department.

Park rangers received reports that the woman, believed to be Julie Hong, was swimming in the Kings River about 2 miles above Boyden Caverns when she went under water but never surfaced, according to the Sheriff's Department.

The search area is extremely rugged terrain. Searchers think the woman's body could be lodged under water.

Man held in shooting

Francisco Duran, 46, was booked on suspicion of attempted murder Monday in connection with a shooting Saturday in Three Rocks, Fresno County sheriff's spokesman Chris Curtice said.

Duran was taken into custody at San Joaquin Park at Ninth and Railroad in the city of San Joaquin.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact detective Hector Palma at (559) 488-3926, or the Fresno County Sheriff's Office at (559) 488-3111.

Parolee held after crash

A 27-year-old state prison parolee is back behind bars after crashing his pickup into a house in Porterville late Sunday, authorities said.

Porterville police said Robert Lopez of Porterville was driving west on Westfield Avenue shortly before 11 p.m. when he tried to turn south onto Lowery Street.

Lopez, behind the wheel of a 2002 GMC pickup, drove off the road and hit a home owned by Miguel Sanchez, causing mod- erate damage to the exterior wall of Sanchez's living room but injuring no one inside.

Police said Lopez allegedly was driving while intoxicated.

Fatal crash driver at large

The driver in a single-vehicle crash Sunday night at Millerton Lake in which a passenger died remained at large Monday.

The unidentified man died after he was ejected from a 1990 Ford Aerostar that left Road 211 west of Highway 145 and went down an embankment about 8 p.m., the California Highway Patrol reported.

The man thought to be the driver of the vehicle, Neri Bernabe of Fresno, fled the scene, a CHP official said. Alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash, the official said.

The driver was heading west at 30 to 40 mph when he failed to make the curve and the vehicle went down the embankment on the Madera County side of the lake.

Two other passengers, Roman Gomez, 25, and Sireno Gibarra, 28, both of Fresno, suffered minor injuries.

Teen held in stabbing

A 16-year-old was arrested in connection with attempted homicide after a 25-year-old man was stabbed in Porterville shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.

The juvenile admitted to assaulting Jose Borquez of Porterville on the 2300 block of East Springville Avenue, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department reported. The suspect was arrested after running from the scene.

Borquez was taken to a local hospital and was listed in critical condition.

Anyone with information on the attack is asked to call detective Cesar Fernandez at (559) 733-6218 or (800) 808-0488.

Deputies make rescues on Kings over weekend

Fresno County sheriff's deputies rescued several floaters on the Kings River during the Fourth of July weekend, spokesman Chris Curtice said.

All the rescues involved floaters who became caught in "strainers" -- overhanging trees that can trap a raft or a swimmer and push them under water.

Deputies rescued a woman before noon Friday and later helped pull a paraplegic man out of the water.

On Saturday, a woman and her 3-year-old daughter floated into a strainer. The woman passed through, but the 3-year-old was trapped before being rescued by a deputy.