Le Grand man arrested in baseball bat attack

A 71-year-old Le Grand man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of attacking people in a vehicle with a baseball bat because he was upset that his own car had been vandalized recently, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Lee Roy Ball was booked at the Merced County jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Deputy Delray Shelton said.

Ball is accused of hitting the occupied vehicle with the bat about 11:12 a.m. Monday on South McDowell Street, near Adams Street, the Sheriff’s Department said.

No injuries were reported.

Deputies said Ball was angry over vandalism to his Jeep Cherokee a week earlier. “The windows of his Jeep Cherokee had been broken out,” Shelton said.

Ball was reportedly driving in Le Grand with a hand-written sign posted in his vehicle indicating that he believed area residents should pay for his vehicle repairs.

Ball told deputies someone had been following him, so he pulled to the side of the road and got out of his car, holding the baseball bat and the sign, to confront the man. Ball told deputies the man drove away, Shelton said.

While Ball was standing in the road with his sign, another vehicle drove by and “brushed” his sign.

“The vehicle, which was unrelated to the vehicle that was following him, was reported to have made contact with the sign,” Shelton said.

Deputies said Ball hit the vehicle with his bat. A damage estimate was not available Tuesday.

Investigators found Ball at his home the next day and arrested him. He was still in custody Tuesday in lieu of $30,000 bail.