Spinning doughnuts damages Ripon fields

July 4, 2013 

— Two teenage boys in stolen vehicles ripped up two community softball fields by spinning doughnuts in the diamonds Thursday. Ripon police pursued them, igniting a high-speed chase that ended with a crash.

Both boys — one from Modesto, the other from Washington state — were arrested, and neither was injured, police said.

Here’s what Ripon police say happened:

About 1 p.m., two cars were endangering families who were enjoying the Fourth of July in Ripon’s Stouffer Park. The red Ford van and maroon Honda were speeding through the park and around the ball fields — just a few yards from where children were playing. Police watched the Ford van speed off and pursued it through town.

“The driver (a 15-year-old documented gang member from Modesto) recklessly endangered the public by driving through stop signs and by speeding in excess of 60 mph in a residential area,” Ripon police reported.

Several police units pursued the van to the dead end of East Milgeo Avenue and into the Barton Ranch. There, the Modesto teen crashed into a tree, got out and fled on foot and was found by officers.

The driver of the Honda, meanwhile, fled the park on foot. An officer found him hiding in shrubbery about 150 yards away. That 17-year-old suspect — a documented gang member from Federal Way, Wash. — was taken into custody without incident.

Both boys were booked at San Joaquin County Juvenile Hall on multiple charges, including felony vandalism, evasion, receiving known stolen property, resisting arrest and reckless driving.

Police said the Honda had been stolen from its Modesto owner. The Ford had a stolen license plate; police are not sure who owns that van.

The softball fields suffered an estimated $3,000 in damage.

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