Manteca’s Fourth of July weekend was marred with a motorcycle crash resulting in a critical injury, police pursuits and an endless stream of illegal fireworks exploding over the community.
A 58-year-old Manteca woman, Gaynell Marten, received critical head injuries shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday when she collided with a pickup truck at the intersection of Atherton Drive and Sereno Drive. She was reported to be still in critical condition at San Joaquin General Hospital at noon Tuesday.
Police said the motorcycle was traveling eastbound on East Atherton Drive when it collided with the right front fender of the truck. The Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) was called out to the scene to investigate the cause of the collision.
Police watch commander Sgt. Bryan Holland said late Sunday night that the illegal fireworks had been fired non-stop as officers and volunteers were attempting to locate their source. He said that in driving through the community suspects would take off running into crowds on the street or jumping over fences in an apparent attempt to evade police and fire department personnel.
In a completely separate event, a motorcyclist had stolen a flag from the community’s display along the downtown streets and raced through the community displaying the stars and stripes. A resident who witnessed the theft of the flag called police with the description of the rider and the type and color of his motorcycle.
An officer who was parked in the parking lot of a church spotted the man riding in the 700 block of North Union Road and gave chase. He followed the motorcycle southbound on Union Road to westbound on West Yosemite Avenue where the rider accelerated continuing westbound and passing other vehicles in the left turn lane, police reported. As he crossed through the Winters Avenue intersection, he ran through the red light. As he approached Airport Way he dropped the flag and ran through the red light. The pursuit covered 3.2 miles and was terminated as the motorcycle ride entered the westbound 120 Bypass.
Shortly after 4 a.m. on Monday police received a 911 call that a car was fully engulfed in flames on East Woodward Avenue at East Atherton Avenue. It was not known at the time if the vehicle was occupied and no driver had been located at the scene, police said.
Officers located the owner of the car on Beardsley Avenue and all four family members told police they had not been driving the car. Police said they had no visible injuries to suggest otherwise. The registered owner admitted to having left the keys in his car when he returned home Friday night.
Then at 1:36 a.m. Monday a 2006 Dodge Durango pickup truck driven by a 17-year-old teen struck a fire hydrant causing a water geyser and tore up a landscaped center divider for some 200 feet. Officers located the teen driver and his mother learning that he had taken the vehicle during the night and was driving back home when it crashed.
No arrest was made in the incident, however a collision report was completed, police said. A city public works crew responded and removed and replaced the hydrant before dawn.
A Manteca family called police Sunday night reporting that their daughter’s 38-year-old ex-boyfriend had gone to their home and threatened them with a hand gun but fled before police arrived.
After police left the home he returned, police said, and they called 911 once again to their home in the 400 block of Rebbier Court. The suspect fled a second time. Shortly after midnight Monday morning the suspect was reportedly back at the house and fled again after the family called again and as police approached.
Officers located the suspect, Leonardo Guiterrez, near the residence when he fled on foot and jumped fences to get away from them. Police chased the suspect and were able to catch up with him at the corner of Fremont and Alameda avenues. During the foot pursuit one officer grabbed the suspect and took him to the ground bringing an abrasion and swelling to his head. He was taken into custody without further incident, officers said.
A police officer also sustained an injury during the incident with an abrasion to his knee and getting a hole in his uniform during the capture. Two other pursuits, one after a quad racing in and out of surface streets and another with police spotting a stolen Honda and giving pursuit before having to call if off for public safety concerns.