Turlock man accused of escaping from Modesto police chase convicted

A 33-year-old Turlock man has been sentenced to two years in prison for speeding away from Modesto police during a chase a few months ago.

After a two-day trial, a jury on June 29 found Chad Vernon Pearson guilty of fleeing a peace officer while driving with reckless disregard for safety, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office announced this week.

Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Shawn Bessey sentenced Pearson on July 30, according to court records. Deputy District Attorney Barry Shapiro prosecuted the case.

About 10:20 p.m. on March 21, Pearson was spotted driving a blue Hyundai that was suspected to have been stolen, according to prosecutors. A Modesto police officer responded to the report and tried to pull over the vehicle.

Prosecutors said Pearson refused to stop, and the police pursuit ensued. The Hyundai ran four stop signs, reaching speeds of up to 70 mph in wet, rainy conditions. The chase continued for nearly a mile, and the Hyundai’s driver escaped arrest.

Investigators later identified Pearson as the driver who escaped from police, according to prosecutors. He was captured about three weeks after the chase. It’s unclear whether authorities found the blue Hyundai.

At the time of the pursuit, Pearson was on probation in Stanislaus County for a 2017 vehicle theft conviction.