Off-Duty Deputy Shot While Riding Bike; Two Arrested

Larry McLaughlin

An off-duty sheriff's deputy was shot while riding his bike in Fresno County earlier this week, and now authorities say two men have been taken into custody in this case.

Christopher Touchstone, 23, and Larry McLaughlin, 26, were arrested after being questioned Thursday morning.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says Deputy Mike Montanez was riding his bike Tuesday afternoon on Friant Road, south of the town of Friant, when he was shot in the back - close to his spine.

The deputy called paramedics and was taken to Community Regional Medical Center. He was later released.

Sheriff Mims says Montanez saw a person in the back seat of a passing SUV pulling an air rifle back inside the vehicle.

Detectives say they identified the two suspects and were led to them after receiving a tip from someone who saw the story on the evening news. They say a third person who was riding in the SUV was also located and taken in for questioning but later released.

Sheriff Mims says McLaughlin had a bus ticket to Louisiana in his pocket when he was arrested. She says the person who called detectives knew about the bus ticket and wanted to make sure the men did not escape justice.

Mims says it appears the suspects didn't know the bike rider was a deputy and added that they may have committed the crime "on a dare or just for fun."

Deputy Montanez tells KMPH News he is still in pain but resting and receiving treatment.