January 23, 2013

Police pursuit in Ripon ends peacefully

Ripon police arrested a man who led them on a car chase Wednesday morning through an orchard before giving up.

Police arrested a man who led them on a car chase through an orchard Wednesday morning before giving up.

About 7 a.m., officer Mario Ysit was driving near North Ripon Road and River Road when he saw a man driving a Honda Accord run a stop sign, according to Sgt. Steve Merchant.

Ysit attempted to get the driver to pull over, but the man accelerated and fled the area, Merchant said.

The chase was on with speeds reaching about 65 mph before the suspect drove into an orchard near Clinton South Avenue and Jack Tone Road, Merchant said.

The suspect weaved through trees for about a quarter-mile before giving up. He stayed in his vehicle for a few "tense" moments, Merchant said, before surrendering. The pursuit lasted about three minutes.

Jorge "Jose" Garcia, 29, of Riverbank was taken into custody on suspicion of evading a police officer, driving without a license and possession of a false government document that Merchant described as a phony Social Security card.

Merchant said his officers take caution when pursuing a vehicle through an orchard.

"It can be very disorienting," he said. "We are mindful of the farmer's property. We don't want to damage crops or irrigation systems."

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