Drunken man hits woman, tries to bite two officers

Michael Fitzgerald, 54, had to be held down by several people before police arrived


VISALIA – Halfway between holidays, one Visalia man either had too much to drink as part of his post-Christmas celebration or pre-New Year’s toast, or both. Either way, 54-year-old Michael Fitzgerald hurt several people, including two officers, and himself.

Just after 7 p.m. on Dec. 27, Visalia Police officers were dispatched to the Gold Star Mobile Estates in the 2100 block of S. Santa Fe regarding a fight in progress. Officers arrived and found several people holding the highly intoxicated Fitzgerald on the ground. When officers stepped in to detain Fitzgerald, he began struggling and attempted to bite the two officers. Neither officers was injured.

Officers were able to quickly restrain Fitzgerald in handcuffs, and learned he had physically assaulted a woman at the mobile home park prior to their arrival. The victim, who was treated for minor injuries, told officers she had not met Fitzgerald prior to that night. Fitzgerald was arrested and transported to an area hospital where he was treated for minor injuries sustained prior to police arrival. After being cleared from the hospital, Fitzgerald was booked at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility for battery, resisting arrest and resisting with threats or violence.

Visalia Police Log

Saturday, Dec. 22
At 7:17 p.m. in the 1100 block of N. Ben Maddox Way, officers responded to a local business for an assault report. A couple was attacked by an unknown male for no apparent reason. The female was punched and pushed. The male defended her and the suspect came back with a rock and struck him. This happened after the subject was making erratic statements to both. Neither person needed or requested medical aid. The suspect fled the scene immediately. At 2 p.m. on Dec. 24, officers responded to Ben Maddox and Houston after a caller indicated the suspect from the assault was there. They arrested 34-year-old Toribio Romo who was booked at Tulare County Pre-Trial for assault with a deadly weapon.

Tuesday, Dec. 25
At 8:41 p.m. in the 300 block of Grape, officers responded to a report of a disturbance. Upon arrival, officers learned 49-year-old Cheng Saelee unlawfully entered a residence of a known subject, and started fighting an adult male in the residence. Witnesses say Saelee threatened to retrieve a firearm from his vehicle, and return at a later time to use it. The occupants feared for their safety and contacted the police department. Saelee was later located at a residence in the 1600 block of E. Douglas, and taken into custody without incident. No weapon was located, and no injuries were reported. He was booked into the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility for terrorist threats and burglary charges.

Wednesday, Dec. 26
At 7 p.m. in the 3500 block of W. Campus, officers responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon that had just occurred. An adult male said he got into an argument with Scott Crawford, 25, of Visalia, over a transaction. After the argument, Crawford returned to his vehicle, and intentionally accelerated toward the victim. Crawford’s vehicle struck the victim, momentarily pinning the victim between the two vehicles. Crawford then assaulted the victim causing minor injuries. A short time later, Crawford arrived at police headquarters to turn himself in and was taken into custody without incident. He was booked for for suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism.

At 11:25 p.m. near the 200 block of NW 3rd Street, an officer heard shots fired. Upon investigating, officers learned unknown suspects fired multiple rounds at the front of an apartment before fleeing the scene. No injuries were reported, but several windows of the apartment were damaged. It is unknown why this particular apartment was targeted. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Visalia Police Department at 734-8117.

Thursday, Dec. 27
At 3:39 p.m. in the 3500 block of S. Jackie, officers responded to request to check the welfare of a suicidal adult male alone inside of his residence. Officers were told the male was possibly armed with a handgun. Upon arrival, officers began speaking with the subject which resulted in him surrendering peacefully. The man was detained, and transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for evaluation.

At 4:45 p.m. in the 1000 block of N. Enos, VPD’s gang unit conducted a probation search. A 17-year-old male juvenile living with the probationer, 27-year-old Armando Montero, tried to prevent officers from entering the residence. The juvenile was arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall for resisting, delaying and obstructing officers in the performance of their duties. During a search of the home, officers found a 12 gauge shotgun and ammunition in a bedroom. Montero was arrested and booked into the Tulare County Main Jail for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

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