MAN ACCUSED OF BURNING HOME WHILE DRUNK: Authorities arrested a Winton man accused of setting his house on fire after getting into an argument with his wife. According to the Merced County Sheriff's Department, Isaac Martinez, 33, quarreled with his wife Sunday night and threatened to burn down the house before leaving to go drinking. Martinez's wife left the house, too. Martinez returned intoxicated, doused gasoline on the house and lit it on fire, Detective Tim McCann said. The house was destroyed. Emergency crews got a call from Martinez about 12:30 a.m. that his couch and living room were on fire, said deputy Tom MacKenzie. By the time firefighters arrived, they were unable to save the home in the 6700 block of Winton Way. McCann found Martinez passed out on a couch on the porch of a neighboring residence, MacKenzie said. He said Martinez was booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of arson and was being held on $100,000 bail.
CHILD NEGLECT CLAIMED: Three children were put into protective custody after being left in a car by the adults looking after them, Sonora police said Monday. Tommy Osborn, 33, and Zoe Thompson, 18, both of Oakdale, left Osborn's two young children and Thompson's younger brother in the car while they went to Country Quick Way on Stockton Road in Sonora about 5:50 p.m. Saturday, police said. There, they later told police, they became upset with clerks for calling them unfit parents because they had been drinking and planned to drive back to Oakdale with the children. Police arrested Osborn and Thompson on suspicion of public intoxication and child endangerment. While Thompson was sitting in the back of the patrol car, police said, she told them someone needed to check on the children. She only could remember they were in the car somewhere on Stockton Road, according to police. Officers found the car several blocks from the minimart. Osborn's children, ages 7 and 5, and Thompson's 14-year-old brother were turned over to child welfare services, police said.
WRECK CLOSES McHENRY AVENUE: A van hit a power pole near McHenry and Floyd avenues Monday night, severing the pole at the base and leaving it and wires hanging low in the street, authorities reported. Modesto firefighters closed McHenry from about 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. to avoid further accidents, Battalion Chief Dan Hinshaw said. Hinshaw was not sure how the accident, south of Floyd at Mark Randy Place, happened. Modesto Irrigation District and phone company workers were repairing the pole and phone connections Monday night, Hinshaw said. The MID reported no power failures related to the accident.
SUSPECTS ARRESTED AFTER CHASE: Modesto police arrested a man and woman after a short car chase Monday on Maze Boulevard, authorities reported. The man was wanted in connection with a carjacking last week and the woman was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment because her 2-year-old child was in the car she drove during the chase, Modesto police Sgt. Craig Gundlach said. About 3 p.m. Monday, officers from Modesto's Street Crimes Unit saw Victor Camarena, 25, and knew about his possible connection to a Wednesday carjacking on the 1100 block of Roselawn Avenue. When they tried to stop him, the car, driven by Veronica Ramirez, 23, took off, Gundlach said. Fleeing police, Ramirez tried to pass a car turning left into a store parking lot on Maze, Gundlach said. Her car and that one collided, and Camarena ran. Officers caught both of them and arrested them on suspicion of multiple violations. Camarena, who is being held at the men's jail, has a no-bail hold because he is on parole. Ramirez was being held at the Public Safety Center with a bail of $25,000.