Reedley police on April 18 arrested a 26-year-old Reedley man in connection to an April 14 carjacking of a local pizza delivery driver that resulted in a serious head injury to the driver.
A news release from the Reedley Police Department said Pedro Gonzalez was taken into custody after an exhaustive investigation identified him as a person of interest in the carjacking, which occurred shortly before 3 p.m. April 14 in the 1000 block of East Manning Avenue. Gonzalez was arrested on an unrelated warrant, interviewed and ultimately booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of carjacking, assault on a person causing great bodily injury, petty theft and an additional charge of vehicle theft.
The victim attempted to stop the suspect determined to be Gonzalez as he was taking the vehicle from the parking lot of the Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria on East Manning. The incident apparently began when the victim started the vehicle, then ran inside to get something before returning to find the suspect in the car behind the wheel.
According to police, the victim clinged to the vehicle from an open window in the passenger side as Gonzalez drove at a high rate of speed east on Manning, passing other vehicles and continuing past South Zumwalt Avenue. According to Dana Boss, crime analyst with RPD, the victim was carried more than a mile before letting go.
At that point, the victim was flung from the vehicle due to erratic and reckless driving from the suspect. The man suffered major injuries including a fractured skull, third degree burns and a fractured toe.
The vehicle continued east on East Manning Avenue. Two days later, the vehicle was abandoned near a canal on Manning and Hills Valley Road south of Orange Cove. Investigators then studied the case for two more days before making the arrest.
Boss said on April 16 that the victim was conscious and talking at a Fresno hospital. He is expected to fully recover, but faces an extensive recovery period.
Anyone who may have any information regarding the carjacking is asked to contact Det. Isaac Cardenas with the Reedley Police Department at (559) 637-4250.