A Turlock man known to flee from police officers lived up to his reputation Tuesday as he led Turlock police officers on a wild chase that included two collisions.
The effort at evasion came to no avail as the suspect, identified as Robert Hernandez, 31, was caught in a short foot pursuit.
One citizen was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries sustained during the first of two collisions caused by Hernandez.
The incident began around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday when an off duty officer from another law enforcement agency spotted Hernandez near a pickup in a parking lot and Geer and Tuolumne roads.
The officer recognized Hernandez as a suspect in several organizations and knew he was wanted on multiple warrants, said Turlock Police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.
The officer called the Turlock Police Department dispatch to apprise them of Hernandez’s whereabouts. The first officers to arrive spotted Hernandez as he was leaving the area and initiated a traffic stop, but true to form, Hernandez reportedly ignored the officers and sped off.
Hernandez sped through the streets of the surrounding neighborhoods. At Tuolumne Road and Del’s Lane, he blew through the four-way intersection, striking another vehicle, Lewis said. The occupant of that vehicle was the hospitalized individual.
Hernandez drove away from the collision, though know it required more effort from the pickup, as it had sustained some significant damage in the crash. The speed of the pursuit at that point was about 30 mph, Lewis said.
Even with the disabled truck, Hernandez drove a few more blocks to the 100 block of E. Minnesota Avenue, where he lost control of the vehicle. The pickup went up on a curb and struck a tree before coming to a stop.
Hernandez and a female passenger attempted to continue their escape on foot and ran from the crash site, but were apprehended by the pursuing police officers.
A search of thee pickup truck, Hernandez, and the woman, identified as Jeveia Sarahfina Aguilar, 19, of Turlock, turned up a handgun, methamphetamine and other contraband. The evidence seized was consistent with possession of narcotics for sales, Lewis said.
Hernandez was arrested for three warrants, as well as the new charges of felony hit and run, felon in possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, drug charges, and felony evading.
Aguilar was arrested for possession of a firearm and drug related charges.
Hernandez and Aguilar were both transported to area hospitals for injuries sustained during the two collisions and later booked into jail.