State

3 suspects in Modesto attack out on bail

Three of four men suspected of being involved in an attack on two women early Sunday in downtown Modesto had been released on bail Tuesday.

Defendants Ricardo Garcia, 21, Emmanuel Alvarez, 21, and Felix Rangel, 21, were released. Ruben Leonard Moreno Jr., 23, remained at the Stanislaus County Jail on Tuesday evening.

Moreno's bail was set at $1 million, according to the Stanislaus County district attorney's office. The bail amounts for Garcia, Alvarez and Rangel were not available.

The four defendants, all from Modesto, are accused of kidnapping and raping an unconscious 20-year-old woman, according to a criminal complaint.

Moreno, Alvarez and Garcia were charged with attempted murder, robbery and intimidating a witness and-or a victim stemming from the beating of a 25-year-old woman.

The victims had been treated at an area hospital and released by Monday afternoon.

Modesto police became aware of the attack at 2:14 a.m. Sunday when an officer spotted the 25-year-old woman arguing with three men, later identified as Moreno, Garcia and Alvarez.

The officer was monitoring police surveillance cameras when he noticed the argument near a sport utility vehicle in the 12th and L streets parking lot.

The woman tried to use her cell phone, but Moreno grabbed it from her and threw it. The woman ran after it, and that's when Moreno punched her in the face about a half-dozen times, knocking her to the ground and unconscious, said Sgt. Rick Armendariz, a Modesto police spokesman.

He said Garcia and Alvarez appeared to be acting as lookouts. The three men got into the SUV and drove away, leaving the injured woman behind.

Officers stopped the SUV about a block away. Inside the vehicle, the officers found Garcia, Alvarez, Rangel, Moreno and the unconscious 20-year-old woman.

Armendariz said the defendants are either members or associates of the Norteño street gang. Prosecutors filed enhancements for each charge, alleging the defendants committed the crimes for the benefit of the Norteño gang.

Modesto police Lt. Chris Fuzie said they are looking for witnesses since only a few calls about the incident had trickled in to the department.

Police asked anyone with information about this incident to call Detective Steve Anderson at 342-9173 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" and a message.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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