Modesto police end probe when victim stops talking

Modesto police have suspended the attempted homicide investigation into a man who was chased into oncoming traffic and hit by a truck because the victim refuses to cooperate.

Robert Joseph Rinaldi Jr., 26, was hit Tuesday by a Ford utility truck after witnesses say he was chased by a group of men into traffic on Briggsmore Avenue east of Prescott Road, according to Sgt. Brian Findlen.

Witnesses told police two to four men were chasing Rinaldi and one of them was armed with a baseball bat.

Two separate investigations were launched; one into the accident and another for attempted homicide.

Rinaldi sustained serious head injuries, internal beading and broken bones, and was taken to a local hospital. He underwent surgery and is now conscious and alert.

A traffic officer and a homicide detective tried to interview Rinaldi, but he refused to let them in his hospital room, Findlen said.

“From the perspective of everything other than the collision, without cooperation on his part we will be suspending our investigation,” Findlen said. “We have a tremendous number of citizens that are in need of our investigative resources.”

The investigation into the traffic accident is ongoing, but it appears Rindali is at fault, Findlen said.

Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at (209) 578-2366.