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Pursuit ends with arrest
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A Hilmar man worried about being arrested for driving on a suspended license decided to try fleeing from a Merced County Sheriff’s deputy, only to be caught and booked on multiple charges.

Mario Armendariz, 38, was booked into the Merced County Jail on charges of felony evading, resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.

Deputy Patrick Heaney spotted Armendariz around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday driving a 1986 BMW on a dirt road in Hilmar and knew he had a suspended driver’s license.

Armendariz was arrested on March 4, after a pursuit with deputies where he was found in possession of methamphetamine, MacKenzie said.

Heaney made contact with him and while talking to the deputy, Armendariz became upset and drove off at a high rate of speed in the area of Williams and Columbus avenues in Hilmar. Deputy Heaney got back in his unit and activated his lights and siren as Armendariz drove off at speeds of 85 mph in a 55mph zone and blew through a stop sign at Columbus and Lander avenues at 80 to 90 mph, Armendariz said.

In the 19000 block of Geer Road Armendariz stopped and attempted to run on foot, but when he failed to climb a wooden fence and with Deputy Heaney right behind him, he gave up.

When asked why he ran, Armendariz told the deputy that he did not have a driver’s license and thought he was going to be arrested for driving without one again, MacKenzie said.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.