Sex assault, drunk drivers tied to X-Fest keep law enforcement busy

08/24/2014 8:37 PM

08/24/2014 10:32 PM

At this year’s X-Fest, a woman fended off a sexual attack and police responded to two reports of couples fighting, but otherwise the street party of roughly 17,000 led to only a smattering of arrests and citations, most linked to being drunk, authorities said.

The attempted rape occurred at 10:45 p.m. Saturday, when a tall, heavyset man who appeared to be drunk accosted a female security guard from the event as she went to her car at 10th and I streets, said Modesto police Lt. Craig Gundlach.

The man was described as being in his late 20s, about 6 feet 3 inches tall, 220 pounds, with short spiked brown hair, blue eyes and a diagonal scar on his forehead. He was wearing light blue baggy jeans and a white buttoned shirt with blue stripes.

Sunday, the arrest total stood at 10 for public intoxication and one for domestic violence, said Modesto police Lt. David Van Dieman. He said 17,000 attended the event.

Fire and ambulance crews responded to 16 medical calls. Of those, three people were taken to the hospital, including one for acute alcohol overdose and one assault victim, Van Dieman said.

There were a number of fights at the end of the evening, but as security and police broke them up, those involved fled, he said.

A number of drunken patrons, however, got behind the wheel, said Ceres police Sgt. Chris Perry, organizer for Avoid the 12. The name refers to the 12 law enforcement agencies in the county that team each summer in a campaign against driving under the influence, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“There were no DUI deaths overnight, but the X-Fest event kept Avoid the 12 officers extremely busy around downtown Modesto,” Perry said via email.

Witnesses near Oakdale Road and Scenic Drive about 10 p.m. reported a car weaving and going recklessly fast. Officers tried to pull the driver over, but he fled west on Scenic, reaching speeds of more than 60 mph, Perry said. After a milelong chase, the vehicle was stopped in the 1700 block of Locke Road. No one was injured.

The driver, Jacob Mendez, 34, of Modesto, was arrested without incident. He had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 and was on probation for a previous DUI conviction, Perry said. Mendez faces charges of DUI, evading police and probation violations.

Since Aug. 15, preliminary totals show 50 drivers have been arrested on drunken driving charges. Over the next few days, extra patrols will be on the streets in Modesto, Ceres, Turlock and Oakdale, Perry said, adding that motorists should call 911 to report drunken drivers.

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