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Suspect in high speed chase swims away from CHP officers
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A high speed chase Monday night that went from orchard to orchard lasted for more than an hour and a half beginning at Arch Road near the Stockton Airport and ending in Escalon at the Stanislaus River and Brennan Road.

CHP motorcycle officer Ted Montez first attempted to stop the 1994 white Silverado pickup truck at Highway 99 and Arch Road at about 6:30 p.m.  The traffic stop would have been only for speed and having a dog in the back of the cargo bed of the vehicle.

The driver, Glenn Hughes, from Escalon and Manteca, failed to yield to the motorcycle officer’s red light and siren and sped south on the frontage road along Highway 99.  The motorist entered an almond orchard near French Camp Road with the officer right behind him.  The CHP motorcycle became disabled in the orchard’s sandy soil and the driver disappeared in the trees, the CHP said.

CHP and Manteca units were alerted to be on the lookout for the pickup with the CHP helicopter and fixed wing aircraft joining in the search.  The motorist was located driving southbound on Castle Road where he entered another orchard toward Northland Road.  

CHP public affairs officer Angel Arceo said the truck crossed Highway 120 from orchard to orchard – using Graves Road – driving into the Ripon area where city police officers had also been alerted of the pursuit.

The pursuit went down Mello and Milgeo avenues reaching a point east of Murphy Road where the driver went into another orchard.  The chase continued in the Van Allen Road and Wagner Road rural areas and continued toward Escalon.

It was on Brennan Road near the Stanislaus River where a CHP officer attempted to halt the chase by pitting the truck with a legal intervention move that caused the truck to roll over an embankment near the river and the CHP car hit a power pole and an almond tree.  The officer received only minor injuries in the crash.

The driver fled for the river where he swam away from officers downstream.  The helicopter had to return to the airport to refuel and the fixed wing aircraft continued to monitor the motorist in the water until he disappeared from view.

He was last seen swimming toward the Del Rio Country Club located south of Escalon and west of McHenry Avenue.  Deputies from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office searched for Hughes on the far side of the river and San Joaquin County deputies carried on the search on the west.

A woman riding in the pickup, Margaret Spurgeon, 43, of Manteca was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and released.  She was not charged and the search was called off about 11 p.m.   Officers said they didn’t know whether the dog had been injured but it was turned over to the custody of county animal control.

CHP officers said Hughes is facing charges of felony evading pursuing police units and reckless driving.