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5 ignore judge, get caught in courthouse sting
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Manteca motorcycle officer Lt. Nick Obligacion and Lodi motor Sergeant Chris Jacobsen stopped a motorist who drove away from the Manteca court Monday afternoon after Judge William Johnson told him not to drive a motor vehicle. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Manteca Police officers conducted a “courthouse sting” Monday afternoon arresting motorists who drove away from the Manteca courthouse after a judge ordered them not to drive their vehicles.

Five were pulled over by motorcycle officers, arrested, and sent out to the San Joaquin County Jail.  They will all appear before the same Judge William A. Johnson at 1:30 this afternoon in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Court.

Two had related DUI charges and the others had been answering citations for lack of a license or for already driving on a suspended license.  They are also going to have to explain away any contempt of court charges for ignoring the judge’s orders not to drive a motor vehicle.  

Michael Rush, 49, of Concord was pulled over in his pickup truck as he drove southbound on Lincoln Avenue having just crossed Yosemite Avenue by Lt. Nick Obligacion and Lodi Sgt. Chris Jacobsen.  Rush was placed handcuffed for his DUI related charges on the tailgate of his truck as officers finished the paper work to have his vehicle towed.

Lt. Nick Obligacion said that each of the drivers knew exactly why they were being stopped by officers.  One said candidly, “My license was suspended and the judge told me not to drive.”

Christina Yanez, 26, of Stockton was cited for driving on a suspended license after she had earlier failed to appear in court.  She was stopped in the 200 block of North Main Street by Officer David Bright.

Gregory R. Clowes, 21, was cited for disobeying a court order by officers Patrick Danipour and David Bright.  Having stopped in the alley behind the 100 block of East Yosemite Avenue, he told his girlfriend to call a family member to come and pick up his car.  Officers told him it didn’t work that way and his vehicle was being towed and put into storage.

Abraham Cano, 38, of Riverbank was pulled over by motorcycle office Bill Walmer in the 100 block of South Grant Street, also for violating a court order and for driving on a suspended license that was the result of a DUI, officers said.  His work pickup truck was also towed and stored.

Reginald Rice, 29, of Stockton was the last to be arrested in the court sting for driving on a suspended license and for failing to answer in court to charges of being a negligent operator of a motor vehicle.  His SUV was pulled over at Center and Grant Streets.

The funding for the operation of the sting including overtime pay for officers came from the state Office of Traffic Safety.  Four motorcycle officers and three undercover spotters carried out the assignment.