Atwater man sought after police chase

Sun-Star StaffMay 15, 2014 

An Atwater man is wanted by police after a vehicle chase that ended earlier this week when the driver bailed out of the vehicle and disappeared in a trailer park, the Atwater Police Department reported.

Police said they are looking for 34-year-old John Paul Martini.

Martini is believed to have been the driver of a 1988 gray Buick Regal who refused to pull over Wednesday night when police tried to stop the vehicle for speeding in the area of Drakeley Avenue and Fourth Street, Lt. Samuel Joseph said.

Officer David Walker first tried to stop the vehicle at 10:15 p.m. but it sped away, police said.

The vehicle ran through several stop signs and reached speeds of about 60 mph in commercial and residential areas, police said.

The driver eventually pulled over in the 100 block of Atwater Boulevard, adjacent to a trailer park. The driver climbed out of the vehicle and ran north, disappearing in the trailer park.

No injuries were reported.

Officers found a wallet inside the car with identification belonging to Martini. Police said a friend of Martini’s confirmed he was seen driving the Buick earlier that same day.

Investigators also found a loaded .25-caliber magazine about 15 feet from the vehicle they believe belonged to the driver, Joseph said.

Officers said Martini is a parolee with a lengthy police record dating to the late-1990s. Details of his criminal history could not be confirmed Thursday.

A physical description of Martini was not available, but authorities released a recent booking mug shot from the Merced County jail.

Anyone with information regarding Martini’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Atwater Police Department at (209) 357-6396. Callers may remain anonymous.

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