Crime

Man accused of beating, robbing Modesto teen assaults disabled man, authorities say

Richard Cortez
Richard Cortez Modesto Police Department

A man who allegedly beat up a Modesto teenager and stole his bike earlier this month was arrested on suspicion of beating up and robbing a disabled man early Saturday morning.

Richard Cortez, 38, was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on Saturday days after he posted bail following an earlier alleged assault on Sept. 4 in east Modesto.

Sgt. Tom Letras, spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, said Saturday that at about 4:30 a.m., a deputy had made an unrelated traffic stop near the Seventh Street Bridge at River Road when a disabled man approached him saying he had been beaten up and robbed at N’s Donuts at 536 S. Ninth St.

The victim said a man came out of the dark and punched him a couple of times. He said he lost consciousness, and at that point, the suspect reached into his pockets and stole an undetermined amount of cash.

Another deputy went to the doughnut shop and saw a man matching the suspect description. It turned out to be Cortez, who was taken into custody and faces charges of robbery, battery causing great bodily injury and an enhancement for committing a crime while being out on bail for another crime.

It was discovered he was the same person who was arrested on suspicion of beating up an 18-year-old and stealing his bicycle.

In that early September incident, the teen victim was slowly riding his bike alongside a friend who was walking in the 300 block of Melbourne Drive, where they were approached by Cortez.

Sharon Bear, spokeswoman for the Modesto Police Department, said Cortez told the victim to get off his bicycle. He then punched him, knocking him to the ground. Bear said the victim’s friend, as well as a passerby who stopped to help, tried to stop the assault but the suspect proceeded to “stomp on the victim’s head,” Bear said.

Cortez then rode away on the victim’s bicycle, leaving the victim with swelling and cuts to his face. Cortez was later found a few blocks away on Clogston Way and arrested in the afternoon attack.

However, he bailed out of Stanislaus County Jail last week.

Letras said the disabled man was taken to a nearby hospital, and he’s expected to recover from is injuries. The teen on the bicycle was expected to make a full recovery.

It’s disgusting he would rob and assault a teen for his bike, then just days after out on bail, he’d assault and rob a disabled victim,” Letras said. “How despicable.”

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