By GLENN KAHL
The Casa Flores Mexican restaurant in the 1100 block of North Main Street and three adjacent business were forced to close following a crash at 1 p.m. Sunday as the result of a police chase.
Two women reportedly trying to outrun officers in a stolen car from Hayward slammed into an upright support causing structural damage. City inspectors “red tagged” the businesses as a precaution.
The restaurant had six to eight families inside having a noontime meal. They were immediately evacuated, according to owner Francisco Flores.
Flores hopes to reopen within the week.
The other businesses included Metro PC cell phone company and a cigarette shop, the Hash Smoke Shop. California Styling was also forced to close due to the structural damage that included a broken front window.
Arrested was the driver of the fleeing car, Jessica Rose Pappalardo, 21. She was charged with auto theft, possession of a stolen car, drug charges, and obstructing police as well as having outstanding arrest warrants. The passenger was Theresa Marie Nielson, 20, who was also charged with auto theft and several drug charges.
A Manteca Police report indicated the two women were in the nearby CVS store on two occasions Sunday – four hours apart. They first entered the store at about 9 a.m. when staffers called police to report a possible theft in progress. The license plate numbers of the vehicle was given to the dispatcher with her reporting the car had been stolen out of Hayward.
Manteca Police Sgt. Jodie Estarziau said the vehicle and suspects had first left the scene prior to the arrival of officers and they were unable to locate it. The drug store was unable to determine if a theft had actually occurred.
Shortly before 1 p.m. the store called police again with staff members reporting the suspects were back in the store and that the vehicle was parked outside the building. The two women had inquired about a prescription and then left the store, Estarziau said. When officers arrived for the second time, a staff member advised officers that the vehicle was northbound on North Main Street. The employee later realized that was not the suspect vehicle he had seen, finding it was then parked in front of the Metro PCS store across the parking lot from CVS.
Officers responded back to the area with one officer finding the vehicle with the suspects parked in front of the cell phone store. The officer reportedly pulled in behind the vehicle and ordered the suspects to put their hands up. The driver allegedly put her vehicle into reverse, backing toward the officer and his patrol unit.
Subsequently the suspect driver pulled the vehicle forward and onto the sidewalk in front of the stores near the Casa Flores restaurant and hit the building’s support pillar. The vehicle then backed up and drove into the parking lot ignoring the officer’s orders to stop while he was out of his vehicle.
The women continued to flee toward an entrance driveway leading them onto North Main Street with another officer pulling into the entrance. The suspect vehicle collided with the front of the patrol car causing moderate damage to both the suspects’ vehicle and the patrol car.
The driver reportedly fled on foot across Main Street and into the alleyway behind Orchard Supply Hardware. A sergeant arriving on the scene pursued the fleeing driver. A police spokesman said she ran through the loading area of the OSH store and out into the parking lot where the officer caught up with her, taking the woman into custody.
Sgt. Estarziau said the suspect had over an ounce of methamphetamine on her person. The passenger remained on the scene and was taken into custody without incident. There was a dog in the vehicle that was turned over to Manteca Animal Control. The officer involved in the crash sustained no injuries. The driver had minor injuries she received in the crash, police said.
Both women were booked into San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.
A Sunnyvale Police Department warrant had a “no bail” attachment for the theft of a motor vehicle in that city. A warrant out of Santa Clara County charged Pappalardo with being under the influence of a controlled substance, grand theft and two misdemeanors.
Nielsen was jail with a bail set at $155,375 and charged with four felonies including possession of a controlled substance, transporting controlled substance for sale and vehicle taken without the permission of the owner. .
Both women are ordered to appear in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:25 p.m. today.
To contact Glenn Kahl email email@example.com or call 209.249.3539.