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Quad rider goes wrong way in traffic, jumps fences
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Mario Casteneda, 28, is being cuffed by officer Travis Martin after he finally led officers over four fences on Spruce Lane in northwest Manteca. - photo by GLENN KAHL
A 28-year-old Manteca man was charged with numerous felony charges after leading police on a stolen four-wheel quad through wrong-way traffic and over four fences Friday afternoon.

Mario Garcia Casteneda was transported to San Joaquin County Jail Friday evening.  

Manteca Police officers Travis Martin and Randy Chiek were driving northbound on Union Road when they reportedly saw Casteneda dart out of Pepperwood Avenue onto Union Road.  They said he turned southbound in the northbound lanes, driving into traffic.

The patrolmen made a U-turn and gave chase as the quad rider cut through the Valero gas station at Louise and Union roads.   They said he then rode across a vacant lot before driving onto Louise Avenue – again the wrong way – riding into oncoming traffic.  

Officers said he then cut up Trailwood Avenue, turning onto Aspen and into other residential areas with them close behind.  The chase came to a stop in the 1200 block of Spruce Lane where the suspect jumped off the quad and cleared the back fence of a residence.

Street Crime Unit detectives, who were in the area, set up a perimeter at the back fence on Union Road – other officers arrived on Spruce Lane.   Pursuing officers chased the suspect over three more fences before they discovered him hiding in a blue recycling Toter just behind an access gate into a rear yard.

Delta Regional Auto Theft Task Force (DELTARAT) detective Stephen Schluer took over the investigation at the scene from the Manteca officers.  He was able to determine the owner based out of Holt, CA, through confidential means.

Schluer said Castaneda is being charged with vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evading of a police officer with reckless driving, felony eluding of the police by driving into oncoming traffic and resisting, obstructing or delaying police officers.

The DELTARAT detective noted that Castaneda was a previously convicted felon who had been released from state parole in September of last year.

He said the Kawasaki had been stolen February 9 from the rural Stockton firm BK Custom Bailing during a commercial burglary where some $30,000 in tools were taken.