Two documented gang members arrested for allegedly robbing ice cream vendor

Merced police arrested two gang members suspected of robbing an ice cream vendor Thursday evening.

Officers Rey Alvarez and Joseph Perez of the Gang Violence Suppression Unit were patrolling near the 100 block of East 13th Street when a man called the officers to help.

The man told officers he was on his bicycle cart selling ice cream when a group of young men stopped the man and asked to buy some ice cream, Lt. Tom Trindad said. As the victim was opening the cart, one of the young men punched the man in the head and stole his cell phone, Trindad said. Two of the men then fled.

Alvarez and Perez were able to locate and identify the two people involved in the robbery, Trindad said. One was identified as Charles King, 20. The other was a 14-year-old boy whom officers didn't identify because of his age.

Both are documented members of a criminal street gang, Trindad said. They were both arrested on suspicion of robbery and committing a crime to benefit a street gang, he said. King was booked at the Merced County Jail, and the teen was booked at the Merced County juvenile hall.

-- Samuel Cosby