There were a few notable arrests during the Oakdale Rodeo weekend, April 13-15 but on the whole arrests and DUIs were down from the previous year, making for an enjoyable time for locals and out-of-towners alike.
For anyone whose weekend agenda included rodeo fun — whether in the arena or in the stands — all eyes were on the weather reports as a particularly wet and windy storm blew in and overstayed its welcome by Friday, pelting Oakdale and the surrounding areas with enough rain to make plenty of mud. But by Saturday, the clouds made a reluctant scoot across the skies to reveal intermittent sunshine in time for the parade.
By Saturday afternoon, the skies were clear and the sun was hot, creating a thirsty environment at the Rodeo Grounds.
A fight broke out Saturday, April 14 around 3 p.m. when a 25-year-old Oakdale man and a 27-year-old San Jose man began fighting while in the beer garden. According to police reports, the two men were attending the rodeo with a mutual friend, but the two shared an uneasy history. The Oakdale man punched the San Jose man and the fight was on. The two were pulled apart before police arrived and the Oakdale man struck out on foot. Police found him near a local business not far from the Rodeo Grounds. A complaint was filed with the District Attorney for misdemeanor battery.
Two hours later a more serious scuffle occurred where a drunken man was arrested at gun point because he not only refused to pull over but he tried to run over the equestrian officer in his path.
The man, Julio Gutierrez-Estrada, 34, of Modesto was seen by equestrian officer John Deming tailing a pregnant woman aggressively with his SUV as she walked along the road, ignoring him. The traffic was moving slowly as cars poured out of the Rodeo Grounds and onto the highway and another driver yelled to the officer that he’d seen Gutierrez-Estrada punch the pregnant woman in the face. Deming and equestrian officer Joe Cruz attempted to get the driver’s attention but he ignored all attempts at a traffic stop. More officers arrived with lights and sirens, but the man continued to resist. Deming maneuvered his horse, Mo, in front of the vehicle in an attempt to get him to stop but the man refused to stop and nearly ran over the horse and officer, necessitating Deming to pull his weapon. He fought with officers but they managed to subdue him.
The woman, who was eight months pregnant, was taken to Oak Valley Hospital for evaluation. She told police that her boyfriend had hit. Her face was red and blotchy and there was a blood smear on her lip.
Gutierrez-Estrada failed the field sobriety test and blew a preliminary .165 on the Breathalyzer test.
Gutierrez-Estrada denied hitting his girlfriend but admitted to arguing, saying he thought his girlfriend had cheated on him.
He was arrested for felony domestic violence, resisting arrest, DUI, and assault on a police horse.
The vehicle was released to the girlfriend.
Overall, there were four DUI arrests during rodeo weekend, down by one from 2011.
Total arrests for the weekend were 20; in 2011 there were 31 during the same time period. Of those 20 arrests, only two were rodeo-related.
In the arena itself, meanwhile, a hometown favorite brought home the top prize, as Oakdale’s Ryle Smith was the All Around Champion (See story in Sports, Page B1) and the new Miss Rodeo Queen Oakdale crowned on Thursday night was Allison Harman of Acampo.