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Man beaten in head with baseball bat
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The 300 block of Vine Street on the west side of Baccillieri Park was blocked Thursday evening due to an assault with a baseball bat that left one man lying in the middle of the street with head injuries. - photo by GLENN KAHL
An attack with a baseball bat early Thursday evening left one man lying in the street with head injuries and officers searching for suspect in the assault with a deadly weapon.

Manteca Detective Sergeant Tony Souza said the police dispatcher received a call at 5:23 p.m. with the caller saying there was a man down in the street near Southside Park off of Oregon Street.  After officers found nothing at that location, they soon discovered the victim was actually lying in the middle of Vine Street between Oregon and Wetmore avenues next to Baccillieri Park, just west of South Main Street and a few blocks to the east of Southside Park.

Souza said the victim and a female passenger had driven through the alley and onto the 300 block of Vine Street when they suffered mechanical trouble with their pickup.  They were there to pick up a friend who was walking down the street toward them when the assault took place, he said.

Police said that the suspect in the attack, Randall John Freese, 31, and another subject overpowered the victim in the street and Freese repeatedly struck him in the back of his head with the baseball bat causing several lacerations.  He was conscious, but complained that his fingers were numbing.  Medics worked with him for some 20 minutes in the street before putting him on a backboard and placing him into an ambulance.

Officers said when the friend saw the attack he ran to the man’s truck and grabbed another bat to go to his aid.  The two suspects reportedly ran off and disappeared in what witnesses described as a dark colored Sentra.  Police said the attack was not gang related. It drew a number of onlookers from the park area.  

Another motorist driving down Vine witnessed the injured man and stopped his pickup next to him and called police. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was said to be in stable condition later Thursday evening.

Manteca Senior Detective Steve Beermann was called to the scene to further investigate the case.  Not only was he processing the crime scene, but he was also mentoring community service officer Barbara Hall with the blood collection that would lead to the necessary DNA analysis with her benefiting from Beermann’s expertise in crime scene investigations.