Sep 092010
 

Update: Police have arrested a Fresno resident who officers said shot and severely wounded a man who had stolen from the resident’s large marijuana garden across the street from Roeding Park.

Phayvahn Dydouangphan, 47, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of assault with a firearm, the Fresno Bee reports. Police said he lives at the West Belmont Avenue home where thieves stole the marijuana early that morning and were driving away in a pickup truck when Dydouangphan opened fire.

Dydouangphan was one of four residents at the home who had documentation that allows them to grow marijuana legally for medical purposes, police said.

A 40-year-old man was shot and severely injured Wednesday morning during an attempt to steal marijuana growing in the backyard of a home across the street from Roeding Park, Fresno police said.

The man, who was not identified, was listed in critical condition late Wednesday at Community Regional Medical Center and was not expected to survive. He was shot in the upper body.

Police received a call at 6:38 a.m. about a shooting victim inside the city park. According to Salazar, a red Ford F-150 with a shattered window on the front passenger side entered the park moments after the shooting at the house, located on the 900 block of Belmont Avenue. The injured man was in the pickup.

A second occupant of the pickup was detained by police. Others in the pickup fled before police arrived.

Officers detained one resident of the home, who is suspected of firing the shots. The man was identified as Phayvanh Dydouangphan, 47, one of the marijuana card holders. He was taken into custody for questioning but had not been charged as of Wednesday night.

Salazar said police were working to determine whether the marijuana garden is legal. He said some residents of the Belmont Avenue home had cards that allow for the medically legal use of marijuana. Salazar was not sure whether the amount being grown in the garden was permitted by the cards.

The backyard marijuana garden is about 50 feet wide and 75 feet long, with some plants about 10 feet high. A 10-foot section of fence on the west side of the property was missing Wednesday.

Debbie Scuitto, whose family owns a flower shop next to the Belmont Avenue house, said she had noticed the marijuana crop and was concerned about it.

“This stuff’s been growing taller than the fence for quite a while. Anyone going down Belmont can see it,” Scuitto said.

Scuitto said she was “not down on them growing” marijuana on the property for legal use, but she thinks the plants should not have been allowed to grow higher than the fence.

“Why did they have to be so tall where everyone knows they’re there?” she said.

Scuitto and her mother, Donna Brown, who owns Brown’s Floral, said the attempted theft and shooting were not unexpected. “Honey, I’ve lived here 40 years,” Brown said, “Nothing surprises me. I’ve been waiting for someone to jump the fence and steal the pot.”

Both women were upset that the shooting could have put them or other members of their family at their home next to the flower shop in harm’s way.

“Who gives them the right to shoot someone over pot?” Brown said.

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