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Suspects arrested after brandishing gun near DMV

A hefty bail has been set for a suspect who reportedly pulled a gun across the street from a government building in Madera.

At Madera County Superior Court, Fernando Zavala, 20, was ordered Friday by Madera County Judge Joseph Soldani to return to court Tuesday for a bail review hearing, and on Jan. 20 for a preliminary hearing.

Zavala and another suspect, Jesus Diaz, 28, were arrested Wednesday, after they reportedly pulled a gun on a man, a woman, and a child as they walked down the street, and threatened the pedestrians in a case of mistaken identity. The incident, according to Madera Police Sgt. Josiah Arnold, occurred outside of the Madera DMV at 1206 Maple St.

“They thought they saw someone who was a rival gang member,” Arnold said. “That was part of (their) territory.”

The victim immediately called 911, and Diaz and Zavala were arrested within minutes by patrol officers and Special Investigations Unit members at the intersection of I Street and Yosemite Avenue.

“We had a couple of SIU guys that were parked doing some other stuff in the area, and they saw the car right away, and they got it.”

According to Madera County District Attorney David A. Linn, no charges have been filed at this time against Diaz, but Zavala is being held in the Madera County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon and criminal gang activity.

Their bail has been set at $50,000.


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