November 23, 2016.
Some residents of Escalon witnessed three Escalon Police units responding to an early morning 9-1-1 call of a person down in the alley behind the Valley Inn at 1744 Main Street around 12:23am that left one man with fatal injuries and another being sought in the connection of his death.
Escalon Police reported the incident on their Facebook page that late Saturday night or in the early morning hours of November 20, 2016, Rocky Overturf, a 26 year old from Escalon, got involved in a verbal altercation with the 36-year old victim inside the Valley Inn. Overturf subsequently left the bar in a dark colored vehicle. The victim left a short time later, exiting the rear of the bar. Police said Overturf then returned, drove to the rear of Valley Inn and again confronted the victim. It was confirmed by Chief Borges that Rocky Overturf punched the victim with his fist causing the victim to fall. As he fell, Messick struck his head on an object or on the ground. After the altercation, Rocky fled the scene and his whereabouts remain unknown at this time.
When officers arrived, witnesses were doing CPR on the victim in an attempt to revive the man. The victim was taken to Doctors Hospital where he later died as a result of his injuries.
The early morning manhunt took officers to several locations in town, including the 2100 block of Jackson Avenue, 700 block of California Street and the 1700 block of Gwendolyn Avenue. The police gathered information at those addresses, but were unable to locate Overturf.
The victim was identified on 11/21/16, by the Escalon Police Department, as Aaron Messick, 36 years of age from Escalon. Messick died of “trauma to the head,” according to the autopsy report.
In an unconfirmed report on 11/21/16 around 7:19pm, it was reported that Rocky Overturf had been taken into custody in Ceres, California. I did get an opportunity to speak with Chief Borges that evening at the City Council Meeting about the reported arrest. Chief Borges told me that the Modesto Police Department received a report that someone who looked like Rocky Overturf was panhandling on Mitchell Road near the Modesto Airport. He also stated that Modesto Police Officers were able to make contact with that person and confirmed that it was not Rocky Overturf. Chief Borges said that the report most likely came from police scanner traffic, where Rocky’s name was mentioned on the air.
The death of an Escalon resident and the ramifications for Rocky is weighing heavy on the hearts of many members of the community and it’s a sad day when something like this has occurred in our little town.
Police investigators are still working on piecing together the sequence of events and have not released information as to what started the altercation in the first place. Police have received a lot of tips and have been following up on those leads with no results so far. Escalon Police Department is actively pursuing all leads in an attempt to apprehend Rocky Overturf.
Rocky Overturf, a 26 year old from Escalon, is still wanted by the Escalon Police Department in the early morning altercation at the Valley Inn that lead to the death of the victim. They also have reason to believe that Overturf is now clean shaven. If anyone knows of Overturf’s whereabouts or is a witness to this incident, please contact Detective Hardgraves with the Escalon Police Department at 209-838-7093.
Det. Hardgraves is the lead investigator on the case with Sgt. Milt Medeiros the supervising officer.
NOTICE: The names, photos and incidents printed in WeEscalon posts/articles are obtained from the daily logs of the Escalon Police Services, San Joaquin County jail booking information and other Police agencies. THIS INFORMATION IS PUBLIC RECORD. The listing of a name, photo, incident in the WeEscalon Crime log, FaceBook page, Twitter account or on the WeEscalon Website does not imply of that person’s guilt or innocence. THIS CAN ONLY BE DETERMINED BY A COURT OF LAW.