Fresno County Sheriff's deputies are searching for two men who beat and robbed a former California Highway Patrol officer Sunday while he was riding his bicycle on Friant Road near Lost Lake.
The victim sustained a broken arm and other injuries in the attack, according to sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti.
The attack took place early Sunday morning as the victim was riding on Friant near Lost Lake Park, a popular route for Fresno cyclists. Botti said the victim was approaching a small blue or silver SUV with the hood up. As he passed the vehicle, he was struck with something and doesn't remember anything until he woke up in an ambulance.
His wallet, including identification as a former officer, was taken, along with his bicycle.
Botti said deputies are checking video cameras in the area to determine if there are images of the suspects' SUV.
Dennis Ball, president of the Fresno Cycling Club, said the crime appeared to be unusual, but it isn't uncommon for cyclists to be victims of other crimes.
"I've heard of people having their bikes stolen, but not being knocked off their bike" during the theft, he said.
Ball said cyclists have also reported having objects thrown at them in the area where the attack occurred.
"I've had bottles thrown at me," he said.
He added that there is strength in numbers for those who wish to go on a ride: "We try to promote riding with a partner."
In 2012, a Fresno cyclist who happened to be an off-duty sheriff's deputy was struck by several pellets fired from an air pistol. Two men were arrested in that case.