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Wild pursuit of stolen car ends in arrest of 18-year-old

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POSTED June 7, 2012 1:35 a.m.

An 18-year-old man led Manteca Police on a wild pursuit through town Tuesday night that ended in a crash with five felony and two misdemeanor charges lodged against the driver.

Zachary Dillon Hunt of Manteca was taken to the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp with no bail allowed because of a warrant for his arrest for violation of juvenile probation.

The five felonies included hit and run, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, evading a police officer with disregard for public safety that caused injury, and misdemeanor charges of obstructing police and resisting an officer.

Bail, if it had been allowed for the series of charges, would have been set at $678,375.

The pursuit began after a Manteca auto theft detective spotted a stolen Volkswagen Bug in the south central part of the city.  A vehicle stop was initiated as the driver fled in his VW making a westbound turn onto Marion Street from Locust Avenue.

Police public information officer Jason Hensley said the vehicle accelerated away from the officer attempting to evade other patrol units as well as they activated their lights and sirens.  The teenage driver continued on to West Yosemite Avenue driving eastbound at a high rate of speed.

Other police units had staged themselves in the 1100 block of East Yosemite Avenue where they deployed spike strips.  The car ran over the spikes but it continued eastbound toward the Highway 99 freeway.

The pursuit ended, Hensley said, when the fleeing motorist rear ended a Chevy Suburban stopped in traffic approaching the freeway.  At that point the teen fled on foot from his vehicle and ran northbound from the scene of the crash.  He was arrested in the 100 block of Northwoods Avenue.

The occupants of the Suburban declined medical attention and were able to drive their vehicle from the scene.  There were no other occupants in the Volkswagen, Hensley said, and no other property damage resulted from the pursuit. 

Hunt is scheduled to appear in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court today at 1:30 p.m.

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