Short pursuit ends in crash after Modesto police witness suspected drug deal

A short police pursuit ended in a crash near downtown Modesto Thursday morning after officers observed a suspected drug deal behind a McHenry Avenue business.

The department’s “Crime Reduction Team observed a subject make what appeared to be a drug exchange transaction behind” the Tiki Lounge just before 9 a.m., said spokeswoman Sharon Bear.

Upon seeing the officers, one of the suspects got in a Toyota 4Runner and headed south on McHenry.

Officers followed as he headed east on Morris Avenue and initiated a traffic stop when he began running stop signs, Bear said.

The suspect failed to yield to officer lights and sirens and a pursuit ensued, but it ended moments later when the 4Runner ran a stop sign at Bodem Street and hit a GMC pickup, driven by Philip Franklin.

The impact knocked the pickup onto its side.

Both Franklin and the suspect in the 4Runner, identified as 41-year-old Jason Robison, suffered minor injuries.

Robison was taken to a Modesto hospital to be medically cleared before he is booked on suspicion of felony evading and other charges, Bear said.

Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.