Crows Landing man steals squad car
by Elias Funez
May 29, 2014 | 2426 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Modesto Police Department gang unit was conducting some follow up investigation in Patterson near E Street and Highway 33 Saturday evening, May 24. While members of the unit were conducting surveillance they noticed a vehicle driving recklessly and proceeded to conduct a traffic stop at approximately 6:30 p.m.

The driver of the vehicle, Juan Pinones, 32, of Crows Landing, led law enforcement on a chase in his vehicle south out of the city as he apparently drove towards his neighboring hometown.

Police officers ended up using a maneuver to stop the vehicle and in doing so flipped Pinones’ vehicle off of the roadway and into a telephone pole just before Pomelo Avenue along Hwy 33, dropping live wires in the process.

Officers approached Pinones’ overturned vehicle but were unable to extract the suspect due to the unsafe conditions of the live electrical wires and attempted to verbally coax the man to leave his car from nearby.

It was clear to the police that the suspect had been drinking, and it was during the negotiations to get Pinones out of his car, that he ran and jumped into an unlocked squad car used by Modesto PD, to continue the chase south on Hwy 33, according to Modesto PIO Heather Gray.

The solid blue unmarked Crown Victoria squad car, equipped with all of the usual crime fighting equipment including a shotgun, was chased to the 800 block of Moran Road, just outside of Crows Landing where the driver used the stolen patrol vehicle to ram the others that chased.

It was once he rammed the other squad cars that gave the police officers the opportunity they needed to surround and capture the driver.

There, the suspect was reversing the squad car towards a house on Moran when another officer ran into the patrol car, stopped the vehicle, and pulled the suspect out.

Juan Pinones was charged with evading police, a DUI, hit and run, auto theft, and assault with a deadly weapon. Hwy 33 at Pomelo Avenue was closed for 3 to 4 hours before utility crews could replace the busted utility pole that hung over the highway.

Contact Elias Funez at 892-6187, ext. 31, or elias@pattersonirrigator.com.
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