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Manteca Police catch DUI suspect that veered into driver
DUI arrest

The assistance of witnesses helped police identify and ultimately arrest a man on Tuesday accused of injuring somebody while driving drunk.

Santana Martinez, 63, was driving his 2004 Chevy S-10 pickup truck eastbound on West Yosemite Avenue. While approaching Airport Way, Martinez veered his vehicle into the adjacent lane and struck an adjacent 2010 Jeep Compass – causing that vehicle to overturn.

According to police, Martinez fled the scene in his vehicle but didn’t get very far – colliding with the guardrail of a local business where witnesses were able get a description and the vehicle he was driving. He was apprehended several blocks away from where the incident took place.

“This case would not have been possible without the assistance of the public,” Manteca Police Lt. Stephen Schluer said. “Witnesses were able to get a very detailed description of the driver and relay that information to our police dispatch.

“Another witness was able to direct officers to where the vehicle was driven to.”

The driver to the overturned vehicle was transported to the hospital with minor injuries, and Martinez reportedly suffered injuries to his head during the collision. Officers that responded conducted field sobriety tests and Martinez was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, felony driving under the influence with injury, and felony hit and run with injuries.

He is also facing charges of driving on a suspended license for a previous DUI conviction and had two outstanding warrants for his arrest for driving under the influence.

While Martinez was injured in the crash, it was the fact that he caused an injury to the other motorist that spurred the additional charge.

According to the Manteca Police, it was the detailed observations of witnesses that allowed officers to quickly apprehended Martinez before he hurt anybody else – encouraging the public to be aware of their surroundings and contact police if they have information that may be useful in cases like these.

“The Manteca Police Department encourages citizens to be good witnesses,” Schluer said. “If you see a crime in progress or a crime that has occurred, please notify the Police Department.

“We ask that you obtain complete descriptions of the persons involved from the head to their feet as well as the vehicles involved – the color, make, model, and license plate number if possible.”

Martinez is currently being held on $365,000 bail at the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of felony hit and run with an injury and driving under the influence and causing an injury, both felonies, and driving with a suspended license for driving under the influence, a misdemeanor. He is also facing charges on the two outstanding DUI warrants. He is scheduled to appear in Department Z of the San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton today at 1:30 p.m. to answer to the charges.

To contact Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.