A routine traffic stop early Thursday resulted in the arrests of two men suspected of being involved in a home-invasion robbery at a central Modesto residence, where a woman was pistol-whipped after she tried to defend herself with a sword.
Patrick Ware, 25, of Stockton and Donte Brooks, 21, of Oakdale were arrested on suspicion of residential robbery, said Modesto police Lt. Rick Armendariz. Ware also was arrested on suspicion of violating parole. Both were booked at the Stanislaus County Jail.
Investigators on Thursday evening were looking for at least two other suspects involved in the violent robbery. Police described the suspects as black men in their mid-to-late 20s and wearing dark clothing; some had ski masks.
The woman suffered minor injuries in the assault. A man, another resident of the home, escaped and called for help. Modesto police Lt. Scott Blom said the woman was treated by medics at the scene but not hospitalized, and the man was not injured.
The robbery occurred about 1 a.m. at the home in the 600 block of West Granger Avenue, just west of McHenry Avenue.
The residents told police they were at home sleeping when they were awakened by a loud bang at the front door. The man got out of bed to investigate and spotted at least four men armed with handguns breaking in through the front door.
Armendariz said the man ran back into the bedroom and dove through a closed window, shattering the window and making his escape. He ran to a neighbor's home and called 911.
He said the woman remained in the house and armed herself with the sword. She tried to challenge the suspects, but they quickly overpowered and disarmed her.
One of the suspects then hit the woman in the face with a gun and held her down, while the other suspects ransacked the home, Armendariz said. The suspects grabbed money, jewelry and other property before leaving the home.
Officers arrived at the home and spoke with the victims, obtaining descriptions of the suspects.
About 1:50 a.m., a Modesto police officer on patrol downtown looking for drunken drivers spotted an Oldsmobile sedan with several traffic violations. The officer stopped the car at L and Needham streets.
Ware was driving and Brooks was the passenger. The officer soon determined the men matched the physical descriptions of two of the suspects involved in the earlier home-invasion robbery.
Blom said investigators found a black mask, duct tape and a black hooded sweat shirt in the car's back seat. After an initial investigation, police identified Ware and Brooks as suspects in the robbery and arrested them.
Police ask anyone with information about the home- invasion robbery to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters also can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.stancrimetips.org, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy contributed to this report.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2394.