Cops Find Hit-and-Run Suspect Beaten, Tied to Phone Pole

California police had no trouble tracking down a man who reportedly ran down a pedestrian before taking off — he was found at the scene of the incident, tied to a phone pole. The bizarre incident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. Friday in Rancho Calaveras, about 25 miles northeast of Stockton. After responding to the scene of a reported hit-and-run, sheriff’s deputies learned the victim had gotten into an argument with 29-year-old Thomas Bechtold. Witnesses said Bechtold then got into his car and intentionally drove into the man, later identified as James Leslie.

Three hours after the incident, the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Bechtold had returned to the scene of the crime, per Bechtold’s arrest report. When deputies arrived, they found the suspect beaten and tied to a telephone pole, according to deputies. No one was arrested for the assault. Bechtold, however, is facing charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious injury and felony hit-and-run. His bail has been set at $2 million.

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