Modesto Police searched the vacant buildings across from the police department Thursday afternoon after a man bleeding from the head was found in an alleyway there.
The man had been hit in the head at least once with a wrench, said Sgt. Eric Schuller. He was taken by an ambulance to hospital for treatment. His condition was not immediately available.
A witness said the suspects fled into one of the vacant buildings, Schuller said.
Officers searched the vacant buildings on the city block, bounded by H and G streets and Ninth and 10th streets, which the state bought in 2014 to be the site of the new Stanislaus County Courthouse. The suspect had not been located as of Thursday afternoon.
The Judicial Council of California plans to build a roughly $267 million courthouse with more than two dozen courtrooms on the block, but work has slowed on the project due to funding shortfall.
The Council said last month it would soon demolish the vacant buildings on the site to address Modesto’s concerns about public safety issues there and to reduce the council’s liability risk.
The site is frequented by homeless, which has attracted drug use, theft and other crimes to the area.
In August police arrested two men after detectives, from the window of their office, saw them stealing copper from the rooftop air conditioner of one of the buildings.