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Detective Schluer recognized for pursuit of gunman
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Manteca Police Detective Stephen Schluer is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award for the pursuit and capture of a Manteca man with several weapons including an AK-47 with three ammunition magazines. - photo by Photo Contributed

Manteca Police Department’s “Meritorious Service Award” has been presented to Detective Stephen Schluer for his pursuit and apprehension of a heavily armed suspect with an AK-47 assault without backup.

Schluer, assigned to the Delta Auto Theft Task Force for over three years, had located a stolen pickup truck at an apartment complex in the 200 block of Lancaster Drive on April 6 of this year.  He had called for backup when  Juan Carlos Salinas, 26,  came out of the residence and drove away leading the officer on a nearly eight mile chase.

A 16-year-veteran of the Manteca Police Department, Schluer followed the Norteno documented gang member at about 3 p.m. in the afternoon. It became a high speed 100 mile per hour chase from Lancaster to Louise Avenue to Jack Tone Road to Highway 120 onto Yosemite Avenue, under the Highway 99 freeway and up Northwoods Avenue where the vehicle hit the curb, took out a Comcast television control box and crashed into a fence next to an apartment complex.

Witnesses told the officer they had seen a sub-compact machine gun on the suspect as he ran through a residential area in a nearby court.  Schuler took the man down at gunpoint and had him handcuffed before his backup arrived on the scene.

Officers searched the area for nearly three hours but were unable to find another weapon they felt had been hidden by the fleeing auto theft suspect.  He was found to have in his possession numerous high capacity loaded magazines, narcotics paraphernalia and a substantial amount of crystal methamphetamine, police said.

Salinas was held to answer all his charges this week at his preliminary hearing in San Joaquin County Superior Court, Schluer said. 

The officer received his commendation at a recent Manteca City Council meeting where he recalled it being a humbling experience at the presentation when asked to comment on his memories of the arrest.