A Turlock man is wanted by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department after leading deputies on a wild chase that ended when it became too risky for public safety to continue the pursuit.
The suspect, identified as Jesus Valdovinos, 34, was last spotted in Oakdale on Sunday but remains at large.
The incident began shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday on Chicken Ranch Road in Jamestown. A sheriff’s deputy had spotted a 2000 Saturn with a suspended registration and attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver, later identified as Valdovinos, refused to stop the vehicle and instead sped away from the deputy.
Valdovinos made his way to the intersection of Highway 108 and Chicken Ranch Road, where he lost control of the vehicle and spun out, according to the sheriff’s department. The vehicle came to a stop facing the deputy’s patrol car, at which point Valdovinos accelerated and drove directly at the deputy’s car. The sheriff’s department said the deputy had to make a quick maneuver to avoid a head-on collision.
The pursuit continued west on Highway 108 into Stanislaus County and was called off by the sheriff’s department as it entered a heavy traffic area in Oakdale.
The pursuit was picked up minutes later when the Oakdale Police Department spotted the Saturn in the area of N. 3rd Avenue and East B Street. Valdovinos jumped from the vehicle and fled south on foot. A search was conducted with help from the Modesto area California Highway Patrol, but Valdovinos was not found.
Valdovinos’ estranged wife was a passenger in the Saturn. She told law enforcement she had been held against her will and that she tried repeatedly to get Valdovinos to stop the vehicle. The woman said she has a restraining order against Valdovinos. He also has an arrest warrant for felony domestic violence issued out from the Turlock Police Department.
Valdovinos was seen around 7 p.m. Sunday outside an Oakdale shopping center attempting to get a ride, but had left the area prior to law enforcement arrival. He was last seen wearing green camouflage pants and no shirt. Earlier in the day he had on a red flannel jacket.
The Saturn was not registered to either Valdovinos or the woman and was towed from the scene.
In addition to the domestic violence warrant, Valdovinos is wanted by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department for assault with a deadly weapon.
Anyone with information about Valdovinos whereabouts can contact the Turlock Police Department at 668-5550.