The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department is on the hunt for a Denair man who avoided being taken into custody by fleeing a traffic stop and leading law enforcement on a pursuit through parts of Sonora.
The suspect was identified by the sheriff’s department as Garrett Bryce Fagundes, 33, of Denair. Fagundes is wanted for felony vehicle evasion, possession of a billy club, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license. At the time of the incident Fagundes was out of custody pending trial on a misdemeanor charge in Stanislaus County of possession of burglary tools.
The incident began around 6:45 p.m. Sunday in the area of Mono Way and Peaceful Oak Road in Sonora. A sheriff’s deputy initiated a traffic stop on the green 1995 Chevrolet truck Fagundes was driving for failing to properly use turn signals at the intersection.
Fagundes initially complied with the traffic stop and pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road, but as the deputy was approaching him on foot, Fagundes sped off.
Fagundes ran several red lights during the pursuit and “drove with disregard to public safety,” according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department.
The pursuit came to an end when Fagundes stopped the truck and ran from the area on foot. Law enforcement, including the sheriff’s department, the Sonora Police Department and California Highway Patrol officers established a perimeter around the area, but Fagundes was not located and apprehended. The sheriff’s department believes Fagundes got out of the area before the perimeter was established and he did this with help from a Sonora woman.
The sheriff’s department stated they received information that Fagundes was picked up by a woman in a white 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe and driven away from the scene. The woman was identified as Carol Nicole Hardin, 37, of Sonora.
Hardin is wanted for questioning in regards to the aiding in the escape of Fagundes from the scene of the pursuit. The license plate associated with Hardin’s Tahoe is 7NUX215.
Prior to the Chevrolet truck being towed from the scene, a billy club was found in the truck cab along with drug paraphernalia, according to the sheriff’s department.
Fagundes is a white male adult, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 165 pounds. He has an average build, multiple tattoos, brown eyes and short brown hair.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the two people involved in this incident, please contact the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office at 533-5815.