For The Madera Tribune
Madera police officers patrolling the Fresno River Trail on bicycles early Sunday morning arrest Saul Ramirez-Lopez, 35, after spotting him with an open alcohol container.
Madera police officers patrolling the Fresno River Trail on bicycles early Sunday morning arrested Saul Ramirez-Lopez, 35, for providing officers with a false name and other information, and for having several outstanding warrants for public intoxication.
Ramirez-Lopez, who is believed to be homeless, was initially spotted drinking alcohol about 7:30 am along the River Trail and then briefly ducked into the cover of brush to try and avoid officers.
Another unidentified man on a bicycle was also contacted and detained by the bike patrol officers Sunday morning, but those details were not immediately available.
Police say the bike patrols of Madera parks, business districts and river trail will continue, and that they provide officers much more flexibility and closer, on-the-ground observations of these well-used pedestrian areas.
Residents using the trail by the river said they were surprised to see the bike patrols, really welcomed the effort, and said they would like to see more of the patrols occur so they can feel safer while out walking or in their neighborhoods.
Many area residents have expressed concerns about the large number of homeless people camping illegally in the cover of the tall riverside brush, and the thefts, big loose dogs, alleged prostitution and drug use, and the large amounts of discarded trash they associate with the encampments.
Residents interested in bike or other patrols of their areas should leave a message for The Madera Police Department on Facebook or with MPD at 675-4220.