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Husband and wife jailed

POSTED September 25, 2009 11:19 p.m.
A Livingston couple are behind bars in the Merced County jail after the husband’s actions kicked-off a multi law enforcement pursuit and search that lasted for hours, and the wife filed a false police report in an attempt to protect her husband.
The incident began shortly before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on a canal bank in the area of Griffith Avenue and Swanson Road in Delhi. A Merced County Sheriff’s deputy was on patrol in the area and noticed a red Ford Explorer driving on the bank. The driver, later identified as Clemente Reyna, 42, saw the deputy and took off at a high rate of speed, said sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
The pursuit reached speeds of over 100 mph through Delhi and Hilmar, with Reyna blowing through stop signs, MacKenzie said. Reyna finally came to a stop and took off running into a grape vineyard at Westside Boulevard and River Road.
For over four hours, Merced Sheriff’s deputies, California Highway Patrol, a plane and helicopter along with three K9’s searched for the suspect in the sizable vineyard.
Reyna was finally spotted by the air unit and after ignoring several repeated warnings to surrender, a K9 was sent in to apprehend him.
Reyna suffered a bite to the back of his head and to his left bicep and was taken to Merced Medical Center for treatment, MacKenzie said.
He was booked on felony evading, possession of methamphetamine and possession for sale of methamphetamine, and remains in jail on $50,000 bail.
Reyna allegedly said the reason he ran was because he was already on probation for narcotics and didn’t have a driver’s license.
During the search, a sheriff’s detective called the registered owner of the vehicle, Maria Reyna, Clemente’s wife. At that point, deputies had no idea who they were looking for, and asked her about her vehicle. She said she believed it was with a mechanic and wanted to report it stolen, MacKenzie said.
After filing a report with the Livingston Police Department, she went to the hospital to see her husband and spoke with a detective. It was there that she admitted that she knew her husband had the vehicle and lied about it being stolen to protect him. She was placed under arrest for perjury after filing a false stolen vehicle report. She remains in jail on $25,000 bail.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.
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