3 arrested in gang-linked attack in Modesto on Christmas Eve

Police investigators Wednesday arrested two teenage boys and a man suspected of severely beating an 18-year-old man in a gang-related attack Christmas Eve in northwest Modesto, a department spokesman said.

The Modesto man suffered major injuries during the assault, including head trauma and broken bones, said Modesto police Sgt. Brian Findlen.

The victim was taken by ambulance to a hospital and is expected to survive his injuries, Findlen said. Police did not release the victim's name to ensure his safety.

Sandeep Anand, 29, and two 16-year-old boys, all of Modesto, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and charged with criminal enhancements because of their alleged gang ties, Findlen said.

Police did not release the names of the teenagers arrested because they are minors.

The attack occurred Dec. 24 at Muncy Park, about a block east of Prescott Road and north of Silvaire Drive. Investigators believe the victim was attacked by a group and beaten in the head and body with wooden and metal objects.

Findlen said investigators identified the teenage boys as those responsible for the attack. Investigators believe Anand assisted the boys in the attack, he said, and the suspects are linked to or claim to be members of the Norteños street gang.

About 9 a.m. Wednesday, Modesto police served search and arrest warrants at Modesto homes to locate the suspects and find evidence from the assault.

Members of the Modesto police Gang Investigations Unit served the warrants with help from the department's Street Gang Unit, Modesto Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Investigative Services Division along with the Central Valley Gang Impact Task Force.

Anand was taken into custody at his house in the 1800 block of Wylie Drive in central Modesto.

The teenage boys were found at one of their homes in northwest Modesto after authorities surrounded the house. Findlen said the boys initially refused to come out, but that police brought them out.

Authorities recovered at least one of the weapons used in the attack while making the arrests. Information about what type of weapon and where it was found was not available.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or 578-2394.