• FEDERAL PRISON ESCAPEE CAPTURED IN STOCKTON: STOCKTON - A federal prison escapee and two accomplices were arrested after leading authorities on a high speed chase through Stockton Friday evening.
Michael Thompson, 32, escaped from a Southern California federal prison in October 2011; he was convicted for meth distribution and sentenced to 120 months in prison in July 2010, U.S. Marshal Deputy Frank Newsom said.
U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force and the San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputies tracked Thompson to the Days Inn off of Interstate 5 and Lathrop Road. Around 7 p.m. when Thompson and Ricky Gonzales, 32, left the motel and headed to the parking lot, deputies converged on them. Newsom said the two men ran from deputies and into a Cadillac Escalade, then sped away from authorities.
Thompson, who was driving the car, got onto I-5 and weaved in and out of traffic at speeds over 100 mph. While authorities drove after Thompson, he took the County Club Boulevard off ramp and continued to drive away from authorities on Stockton surface streets.
Newsom said the Stockton Police Department’s Community Response Team and California Highway Patrol joined the pursuit. Thompson continued to speed through stop signs and traffic signals.
At the intersection of Mission Road and Princeton Avenue, Thompson crashed into a police cruiser. Authorities quickly closed in on the disabled car and ordered Thompson and Gonzales to the ground at gunpoint, Newsom said.
Stockton police said the pursuit lasted 9 minutes.
Police said Thompson was arrested for escaping from federal prison and evading police; Gonzales was arrested for attempted murder and weapons charges. During the investigation, authorities arrested a third suspect at the Days Inn; Rick Vanboeyen, 31, was arrested for parole violation charges, police said.
All three suspects were booked into San Joaquin County Jail.
• STOCKTON POLICE JOIN TWEET-A-THON: STOCKTON - Think of it as crime prevention in 140 characters.
On Friday, Stockton Police joined 150 other law enforcement agencies in eight countries in an international “tweet-a-thon.” This wasn’t cops tweeting about a ballgame or what they ate for lunch, it’s community outreach, sowing seeds of cooperation across the internet.
Stockton detectives say the social media push has lead to real world dividends, like Stockton’s recent drastic drop in violent crime.
Tweets have been giving police tips where the suspects have been living and where they’ve been hanging out. That information gets forwarded to investigators who are working on those crimes. They go out, follow up and often times make arrests.