What began as a normal Monday morning drive to work for a man in northwest Fresno turned into a violent struggle with a carjacker that ended with the man’s pickup truck crashing into a home, police say.
The alleged attacker, Mardik Mektarian, 19, was booked into Fresno County Jail on a parole warrant and charges of attempted carjacking, police Lt. Joe Gomez said.
Meanwhile, a homeowner near Polk and Shaw avenues is likely seeking repairs to the wall of his house, Pacific Gas & Electric workers were repairing a power pole sheared off during the struggle and the pickup driver, who was not identified, is recuperating from head injuries.
The driver told officers his day went south shortly after he was approached by Mektarian at the Food 4 Less on West Shaw Avenue, west of Marks Avenue. Mektarian, who was panhandling, asked for a ride to the Polk and Shaw avenue area. After handing Mektarian some change, the driver agreed.
The driver told police as he turned onto Polk Avenue, Mektarian said he had a gun in a bag and demanded the truck. The victim pulled over but kept the engine running with his foot on the brake. Then the victim grabbed for the bag and a struggle began.
The victim’s foot lifted from the brake and Mektarian reportedly pushed the accelerator pedal with his foot. The out-of-control truck made a U-turn, knocked down the pole, went through a fence and hit the home.
Mektarian tried to run but was tackled by the driver. Mektarian shouted to a passerby that he was being raped. Officers later found a watering device in the truck that they believe was the “gun” in the bag.
The driver and Mektarian were treated for injuries at Community Regional Medical Center. The victim’s injuries were moderate and Mektarian‘s minor.