A 29-year-old man was found beaten and tied to a telephone pole on Friday afternoon following an incident where he allegedly hit and knocked out a 47-year-old man with a vehicle in Valley Springs.

Lt. Anthony Eberhardt said an investigation was under way and he could not say anything about suspects in the beating of the 29-year-old. 

A Sheriff's Office press release said at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office and California Highway Patrol officers were dispatched to the intersection of Westhill Road and Nall Street for a report of a vehicle accident involving a pedestrian. 

James Leslie was knocked unconscious by a vehicle after an argument.. 

At 7:30 p.m. deputies received a report that the man who argued with Leslie was "dropped off near the same intersection," according to the press release.

According to Calaveras County Sheriff's Office booking logs, Thomas Bechtold was arrested on the 7800 block of Westhill Road. The location is a residential neighborhood and is right near the intersection with Nall Street.

Eberhardt said Bechtold was in the custody of the jail. 

He was charged on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious injury and felony hit and run and his bail was set at $2,195,000. 

Anyone with information regarding the hit and run is urged to contact the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department Anonymous Tip Line at (209) 754-6030 or the Sheriff's Office at (209) 754-6500.


Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter @g_ricapito 


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