Suspect lays down the hammer on city code

Visalia police arrest suspect after he dents code enforcement vehicle with hammer


VISALIA – Law enforcement tends to throw the book at criminals, but sometimes criminals throw things back: like backpacks and hammers.

According to the Visalia Police Department, last Thursday, March 28, at 4:19 p.m. a City of Visalia Code Enforcement Officer attempted to contact an individual who had set up a pop-up phone service tent on city property at Tulare and Santa Fe. 

The suspect, Ernesto Sanchez, 26, became irate and started threatening the Code Enforcement Officer and throwing items at him. The suspect then struck the hood of the Code Enforcement vehicle with a hammer, causing a large dent. As the suspect continued to try and get to the officer, the officer was forced to deploy pepper spray to prevent a further attack. 

A marked VPD police unit pulled up to assist and Sanchez threw a backpack at the officers and then ran. After a foot chase, the suspect was apprehended. No injuries were reported. Sanchez was booked for Battery, Vandalism, and Resisting Arrest.

Visalia Police Log

Monday, April 1
At 1:36 a.m. officers were dispatched to the 5th Quarter Bar in regards to an Assault with a Deadly Weapon that had just occurred. Upon arrival, officers located a 26-year-old male suffering from a gunshot wound to the left arm. The victim was transported to KDMC for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. 

Cody Bartley

Cody Bartley

Saturday, March 30
At 7:10 p.m., Visalia Police Officers were dispatched to the 600 block of S. Demaree regarding an adult male chasing another adult male with a knife. As officers arrived on scene they were advised by a witness that the male with the knife had threatened to kill a female while he was holding the knife. Witnesses followed the suspect to an apartment in the 700 block of S. Fulgham. The suspect, later identifeid as Cody Bartley, surrendered to a police K-9 unit after intially refusing to come out. Bartley was positively identifed by the victim and witness as the person who committed these crimes. The male that was being chased by the suspect at the beginning of this incident was not located. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Visalia Police Department at 734-8117. There were no injuries as a result of this incident.

Sunday, March 31
At about 8:11 p.m., Visalia Police officers were dispatched to Walnut Plaza Liquor regarding a grand theft report. Upon arrival, officers learned a tall, black, male adult entered the store and approached the counter to purchase a beverage. While employees were distracted, the suspect grabbed a display case containing lottery tickets and fled the business to an awaiting vehicle. The suspect was observed entering a silver or bronze colored four door vehicle that was parked on Walnut Avenue, west of Giddings. The vehicle was last seen heading west on Walnut towards Mooney Boulevard. Employees estimate the loss to the business to be in excess of $1,500.00. 

At approximately 5:06 a.m., the Visalia Police Department received a call of a residential burglary. Upon arrival, officers learned an unknown suspect had forcibly entered the residence, took the keys to two vehicles belonging to the victim and fled the scene in the vehicles. The vehicles were located in the city of Tulare, and officers with the Tulare Police Department located two suspects in one of the vehicles. One of the suspects was also in possession of a loaded handgun. Visalia PD officers responded, and took custody of the suspects. 

Thursday, March 28
At 9:37 p.m. Special Enforcement Unit officers attempted a traffic stop on a Honda Accord with paper plates at Rd 280 and Ave 256. The vehicle failed to yield and fled from the officers. The vehicle went off road driving down dirt roads before coming back onto Rd 156 southbound. The vehicle reached speeds around 100 mph before it failed to stop at the T-intersection with Avenue 256. The vehicle struck the street sign and came to a stop after it left the roadway. The driver, James Booher, ran from the vehicle into an orchard and attempted to hide. He was located by an officer and refused to comply with orders. He was tased by the officer and taken into custody. Over 64 grams of methamphetamine was located in the vehicle. The vehicle was discovered to be stolen out of Visalia. 

At 4:21 p.m. Edwin Sanchez, 26, attempted to steal a gaming console from Best Buy when an employee attempted to stop him. After a brief altercation, Sanchez was able to flee from the store with the property. A private citizen saw the robbery and followed the suspect’s vehicle as it left the scene. The citizen tried to film the suspect with their phone, when Sanchez noticed he was being followed and filmed he intentionally rammed the victim’s vehicle twice. The victim received a minor cut from the collision. Sanchez pulled over in a neighborhood near Caldwell and Demaree due to damage to his vehicle. There, with the assistance of GSU and Motors Officers, he was taken into custody. 

Wednesday, March 27
At 4:16 p.m., officers were dispatched to Seven Oaks Park for an altercation between transients. Upon arrival, it was learned that the suspect had struck the victim in the face with a bottle. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury to their face. The case has been forwarded to the Violent Crimes Unit for follow-up investigation. 

Sunday, March 24
At 6:20 a.m., Jason Hounihan, 42, was captured on video breaking a locked glass door to make entry into the Visalia Mall. Once inside Hounihan defeated an exterior security door to Kay Jewelers and broke a glass display case removing various articles of jewelry before fleeing the area on foot. On 03/27/19, 1830 hours, Hounihan was arrested for the burglary and booked into the custody of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. The loss of jewelry was later determined to be over $10,000.00 and damage is estimated to be over $5000.00.

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