Local

May 26, 2014

Police vehicle taken during chase near Patterson

A 32-year-old man was arrested Saturday night after authorities say he led the Modesto Police Department’s gang unit on a pursuit and stole one of its patrol cars.

A 32-year-old man was arrested Saturday night after authorities say he led the Modesto Police Department’s gang unit on a pursuit and stole one of its patrol cars.

The gang officers were in Patterson conducting surveillance on a suspect when a man unrelated to their investigation drove by them recklessly, said Modesto department spokeswoman Heather Graves.

She said that during the pursuit the driver held a bottle of alcohol out the window to taunt officers.

Officers used one of their vehicles to try to force the car to come to a stop, but it rolled and hit a power pole. Graves said she did not know where in Patterson the crash occurred or the speed at which officers and the pursued driver were traveling.

The crash caused live power lines to hit the ground and prompted officers to abandon their patrol cars to get to safety, Graves said. The pursued driver used the opportunity to get inside one of the unattended patrol cars and flee, she said.

Officers continued the pursuit south out of Patterson, where the driver used the stolen patrol car to ram another patrol car, Graves said. She said she did not know what ended the pursuit, but the suspect was detained by officers in the 800 block of Moran Road near Crows Landing.

Juan Pinones was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, evading, driving under the influence, hit and run, and auto theft.

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