Crime

Man badly beaten in downtown Modesto alley dies

Modesto police announce arrest in alley beating

Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Bear announces that an arrest was made in the May 6, 2019 assault at 4th and I Street in Modesto.
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Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Bear announces that an arrest was made in the May 6, 2019 assault at 4th and I Street in Modesto.

The 40-year-old man badly beaten the afternoon of May 6 in a downtown Modesto alley, allegedly by Modesto resident Martel Hill, has died, Modesto police report.

Hill, 26, has remained in custody, facing a charge of assault likely to produce great bodily injury, since the crime. His bail is $2 million.

A Police Department spokeswoman said Hill is set to return to court Friday, when charges will be reviewed in light of the victim’s death.

Police confirmed the victim was Salvador Vera III, 45.

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The initial call to emergency dispatch, at 2:11 p.m. May 6, was that a man was lying in an alley at Fourth and I streets, possibly an assault victim. Responding officers found the victim unconscious, with obvious severe trauma to his head and body.

There were witnesses to the attack, but none called 911, police said. The person who called apparently came upon the man on the ground, but thought perhaps he was sleeping or passed out. After perhaps 15 minutes without seeing the man move, the person decided to call, Lt. Jason Grogan said.

Hill’s name was provided to police by witnesses. He was arrested May 7, and his bail initially was just $25,000.

Police have not said when the victim died.

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