Four arrested in beating seen on Modesto police video

The man kept punching the 25-year-old woman in the face as she lay unconscious in the downtown parking lot. He then kicked her in the head before leaving with other men in a sport utility vehicle.

Modesto police say this scene was captured early Sunday on their surveillance cameras.

Officers stopped the SUV less than a block from the parking lot at 12th and L streets. Police say inside the SUV they found a 20-year-old unconscious woman who had been raped. Officers arrested the four men in the SUV.

"In the video, it was evident that it was a very violent, senseless and cowardly act," said Sgt. Rick Armendariz, a police spokesman, about the parking lot assault. "It was unprovoked."

He said the women were taken to Modesto hospitals. The 20-year-old has been released from the hospital. The 25-year-old was in stable condition Sunday afternoon. Armendariz said she may have broken bones in her face.

Armendariz said the women are Stanislaus County residents. He declined to provide more information to protect their identities. He said detectives still were determining the relationship, if any, among the suspects and two victims and what the six had been doing before the assaults.

Modesto police have been using the downtown cameras for nearly a year. Officers watch live footage from the cameras during peak hours of the downtown club scene on weekend nights and during special events downtown.

Otherwise, the cameras record footage that can be archived.

A police officer was monitoring the downtown surveillance cameras early Sunday. At 2:14 a.m., he spotted what appeared to be a woman arguing with three men in the 12th and L streets parking lot.

Armendariz said when the woman tried to use her cell phone, one man grabbed it from her and threw it. The woman ran after it. That's when the man punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground and unconscious.

Armendariz said the man punched the woman about a half-dozen times. He said two other men appeared to be acting as lookouts. Before the three got into the SUV, the man walked back to the woman and kicked her in the head.

The officer monitoring the cameras called for nearby officers to respond. When officers stopped the SUV, they found a fourth man and the unconscious 20-year-old woman.

Armendariz said the suspects are members or associates of the Norteño street gang. He said these suspects -- all from Modesto -- were arrested:

• Ruben Leonard Moreno Jr., 23, on suspicion of attempted homicide and committing a felony while on bail

• Ricardo Garcia, 21, on suspicion of aiding in a felony and kidnapping

• Emmanual Alvarez, 21, on suspicion of aiding in a felony, rape and kidnapping

• Felix Rangel, 21, on suspicion of aiding in a felony, kidnapping and committing a felony while on bail

Police ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call Detective Steve Anderson at 342-9173 or Crime Stoppers toll free at 866-602-7463. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at or 578-2316.

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