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Wild chase, 2 assaults
Suspect rams vehicle, later attacks man in his garage
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Officers and medics have Andre Ortiz, 23, under control in handcuffs on an ambulance gurney after allegedly leading officer on an hour-long chase after ramming a vehicle at Costco and assaulting a homeowner working in his garage. - photo by GLENN KAHL/ The Bulletin
A 23-year-old man who allegedly used his silver GMC pickup truck as a weapon and later assaulted a stranger working in his garage went to jail on assault charges Sunday.

Andre Ortiz reportedly rammed a shopper driving a black Suburban in the Costco parking lot near Airport Way and the Highway 120 Bypass at about 10:30 a.m.  Officers said the victim gave chase and followed the suspect down Airport Way to Woodward Avenue after being rammed several more times during the process before losing him.

During the chase he had contacted the CHP dispatcher on his cell phone.  The call was transferred to the Manteca Police dispatcher because the incident had occurred within the city limits.

As Manteca officers were searching for the silver pickup truck, a resident on Depot Street flagged down a patrolman saying a truck had just flown by doing at least 100 miles per hour.

Meanwhile the Manteca dispatcher received another 911 emergency call from a resident living in Jung Court near Airport Way and the Highway 120 Bypass saying he had just been assaulted in his garage by a man who had jumped the freeway concrete block retaining wall.

On the other side of that wall, parked on the bypass westbound onramp, was the suspect vehicle officers were attempting to locate.  The homeowner said he didn’t know the man who was assaulting him and he was battling with him trying to block his entrance to the service porch that would have allowed the suspect access to his family.

He told officers the two of them fought face to face until the aggressor ran off.  Within seconds a highway patrol officer spotted Ortiz running down Union Road toward his truck and thinking he had been in an accident.

The CHP dispatcher, who had taken the earlier call that was transferred to Manteca Police,  recognized her officer’s description of the vehicle and advised him that could be the same truck that had been involved in the chase from Costco.

The highway patrolman took Ortiz into custody and called Manteca officers to the on-ramp location.  The suspect was claiming he was ill and officers called an ambulance.  Medics had to place a spit screen over his face to prevent him from continuing to spit at officers and medics, police said.  Because he was being disruptive in the ambulance, medics asked that an officer accompany them to a local hospital to keep him under control, police said.

 Officers drove the assault victim from his home in a patrol car to the on ramp where he identified Ortiz as the man who assaulted him – through the open ambulance door.  The victim said it was unbelievable how the man could scale the eight- to 10-foot high concrete block freeway wall.

Ortiz was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault for his attack on the homeowner in his garage.