Police: Man struck officer

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comJuly 17, 2013 

A panhandler was arrested after allegedly assaulting an officer outside of a convenience store Tuesday, police said.

The Los Banos Police Department responded to the area of Pacheco Boulevard and Miller Lane at 5 p.m. after receiving a report of a man asking customers for money and urinating in public near Circle K.

Officer Alfonso Flores arrived in the area and found the suspect, Hildebrando Rojas Vargas, 30, running into traffic.

Flores stopped Vargas and tried to question him. Police said Vargas was uncooperative and resisted the officer’s attempt to detain him.

Police said Vargas struck Flores in the face several times and ripped his uniform. Flores used pepper spray on Vargas but it had no affect, police said. Officer Vanus Warren arrived and used his expandable baton against Vargas, police said. It reportedly also had no affect. Police eventually used a taser on Vargas.

Police said they located a knife on the ground while they were searching Vargas. Police believe the presence of the weapon indicates that Vargas was attempting to use the knife against Flores.

Vargas was wanted in Santa Clara County on warrants for failing to register as a sex offender with prior felony convictions and resisting arrest. Vargas was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest with violence, battery against a law enforcement officer, obstructing or resisting a law enforcement officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, criminal threats, and having outstanding warrants.

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or by email at cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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