Two homeless men brutally beaten, left in southeast Fresno alley

Two homeless men were in extremely critical condition Friday after being beaten in an alley in southeast Fresno, police said.

The attack took place near Balch Avenue and Fourth Street. The victims were taken to Community Regional Medical Center. Lt. Joe Gomez said the victims, one 56 and the second 36 years old, were discovered by a passerby about 7:46 a.m., but a neighbor reported hearing a disturbance about 3 a.m.

Police identified the men, but were not yet ready to release those names, pending more investigation into the crime.

It isn’t known whether the victims were transients or if they were connected to the home they were sleeping behind.

Gomez said both victims sustained extremely severe head trauma and one victim had been sliced on the face. At the hospital, one of the victims went into cardiac arrest but was revived.

Police did not know if the motive for the assault was robbery, a personal dispute or something else. Gomez said no identification was found for either man. Homicide detectives joined the investigation.

A neighbor who identified himself only as Javier said he was worried that one of the victims might be a man he knew as Rogelio, who wears a cowboy hat and collects bottles and other recyclables in the area. Javier said Rogelio often sleeps in the alley. Gomez, however, said neighbors told officers several people used the alley to sleep.

Anyone with information that can lead to the identification and/or arrest of the suspect is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP, where the caller can receive a cash award and remain anonymous.