Man beaten by up to 20 people in downtown Merced, police say

A 43-year-old man is recovering after being severely beaten by a large crowd early Friday morning in a downtown Merced alleyway, according to police.

Police believe the crowd may have been large as 15 to 20 people.

Merced police responded at 12:36 a.m. Friday to reports of a man who was beaten near Wells Fargo Bank at 18th Street and Canal Street, Merced Police Capt. Bimley West said.

Officers arrived and located the victim unconscious in a parking lot with head injuries.

He was near a running, empty car, West said. The victim was flown to a Stanislaus County hospital, where he was treated for the injuries and released later Friday.

Investigators believe the assault may have stemmed from an incident at one of the nearby bars in the area, West said.

The victim was reportedly walking away when the group of up to 20 people caught up to him and beat him, West said.

The motive behind the attack remains under investigation, West said.

“There’s some suspects out there right now thinking they can go around beating up people, with no care whether they live or die, and are getting away with it,” West said. “That’s not going to happen.”

Anyone with information on the case or suspects is asked to call Detective Sgt. Rey Alvarez at 209-388-7705.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.