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Bad Gas Leaves Motorists Stranded

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MODESTO – Several motorists were left with disabled vehicles Tuesday night after pumping gas at a local gas station.

Emily Gomes said she pumped gas in her vehicle at the Arco at the intersection of Coffee Road and Orangeburg Avenue at about 8:15pm. After finishing, her vehicle died as she drove out of the station.

While waiting for a tow truck, she noticed another customer who pumped gas also suffered the same problem. Gomes said he didn’t even make it out of the lot.

In the time spent waiting there, Gomes said at least eight or more people came to the station with the same problem. During a phone call Wednesday, she said they began to warn other customers who were arriving to pump gas about what was happening. They urged the attendant to shut the pumps off, who did so about an hour later she said.

About a dozen or so customers returned the next day to speak to a manager about what to do. Gomes said her car still wouldn’t start, and she would have to have it examined.

A truck was at the service station Wednesday morning pumping out the fuel tanks. A man in a safety vest directed people to a flyer inside of the station. He confirmed the truck was there to pump out the fuel tanks.

The source of the problem was unclear, but Gomes believed the gas was contaminated, and that there were other Arco locations affected as well. At least one other Arco station had their pumps taped off Wednesday, this one on Crows Landing Road.

Gomes described the entire incident as an inconvenience, and expressed her frustrations over the incident.

So what happens if you or someone you know was affected by the gas? Here is a list of what you need to put together:

  1. A written statement of the incident. (Must include product purchased and date of purchase/timeline of general events, etc.)
  2. Proof of BP branded fuel purchase. Fuel receipt or credit card statement that includes dollar amount spent.
  3. Itemized mechanic’s repair invoice.
  4. A towing receipt, taxi receipt, rental car receipt of applicable.

Anyone affected who would like to initiate a claim process can contact BP at 1-800-333-3991.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Teen Suffers Head Wound in Highway Shooting, Suspects Arrested

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STOCKTON – Investigators with the California Highway Patrol arrested a man suspected of being involved in a shooting that wounded a teen Monday afternoon.

The incident happened shortly after 3:00pm near the area of Highway 99 and Kettleman Lane in Lodi. According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of a Nissan Altima fired a gun several times at the victim vehicle, striking a teenage passenger in the head. The driver of the victim vehicle drove the teen to Lodi Memorial Hospital for care. Valley Division CHP Investigators responded to work the case.

Moses Mercado, a 21 year old resident of Lodi, was identified as a suspect during the course of the investigation. Investigators located and arrested Mercado after a brief pursuit in South Stockton that ended on South California near Worth Street. A passenger of the Nissan Altima, 21 year old Bella Villanueva of Ripon, was also arrested. Villanueva faces charges of aiding and abetting, conspiracy, and concealing evidence.

Mercado was charged with attempted murder, carrying a loaded firearm with a previous felony conviction, being a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to commit a crime, being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition, and shooting at an inhabited vehicle. He is in custody without bail and due in court on June 30th at 1:30pm.

A third suspect, 29 year old Edgar Hernandez of Stockton, was arrested and charged with carrying a loaded unregistered firearm concealed in a vehicle.

“We want to assure the public that these acts of violence are not random, but are often targeted attacks between parties that know each other,” said Commander Mel Hutsell of the Stockton CHP Office. “We take these types of incidents very seriously and are committed to ensuring public safety.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact CHP Investigations at (916) 731-6300.

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Brush Fire Fills Skies with Smoke

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SALIDA – A brush fire in the north end of Stanislaus County filled the skies over Modesto and neighboring communities with smoke Monday and Tuesday.

The fire was reported in San Joaquin County initially, but jumped the Stanislaus River late Monday afternoon. The fire burned in heavy brush along the river near the 10100 block of Beckwith Road.

Early indications suggest the fire to have burned 150-200 acres, however at time of publication an exact measurement was not available.

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Airport Neighborhood Shooting Investigated

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MODESTO – One person was rushed to a hospital after a report of a person shot Monday Afternoon.

The incident happened shortly after 1:30pm near the intersection of Kerr Avenue and Tenaya Drive. An ambulance left with one person and a sheriff deputy following close behind.

The area was closed off with crime scene tape as deputies examined the scene. Evidence technicians and investigators responded as well.

No further details were available at time of publication.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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