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Suspected drug dealer arrested for assault

A suspect arrested in an alleged drug deal is back in jail for a reported assault that left a victim hospitalized.

According to Madera County Sheriff’s Cmdr. Bill Ward, the suspect, Martin Tapia, 22, was arrested earlier this month for attempted murder and assault resulting in severe bodily injury. He was arraigned by video Monday at the Madera County Superior Court.

“We hope the victim recovers fully from this vicious attack,” said Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney, “and that Mr. Tapia is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

The incident, Ward reported, occurred May 3, when Tapia went the house of his ex-girlfriend in the 25000 block of Honda Road. It was there that Tapia allegedly got into an altercation with her current boyfriend, resulting in the suspect striking the victim over the head with a blunt object and causing a laceration. The victim was taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.

According to Madera Police Sgt. Josiah Arnold, Tapia was located by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in the 900 block of Papaya Street the next day.

Tapia had been arrested by SIU officers late last month in front of his house at 1431 Paseo Del Mar Parkway, while he was allegedly purchasing cocaine from a supplier with the intent to sell. Inside the house, more than 12 grams of cocaine were reportedly found on a scale.

“Unfortunately,we have a group of people who continue to commit crime and tax our justice system,” Arnold said.

Tapia, Arnold stated, is a known gang member, but according to Ward, the assault does not appear to be gang-related.


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