Man arrested after pursuit in Coalinga, police say


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A man was arrested after taking police on a pursuit Friday, according to the Coalinga Police Department.

At around 6:30 p.m., officers responded to a report of a possible vehicle theft in progress at the Coalinga Motel, in the 600 block of Polk Street.

When officers arrived they observed the vehicle in the alley behind the Coalinga Motel. The vehicle fled the scene, driving eastbound on Polk Street at a high rate of speed.

Officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the vehicle failed to pull over, driving eastbound on Polk, leaving town.

The suspect, was identified as Richard Hernandez.

The suspect continued to flee, at times reaching speeds over 90 mph while traveling in oncoming traffic lanes, police say.

As Hernandez continued to flee, he continued driving erratically, failing to stop at several “STOP” signs.

When Hernandez reached the intersection of Nevada Avenue and Highway 41, he failed to stop at the stop sign, lost control of his vehicle, drove off the road, coming to a stop before colliding with a fence.

A Coalinga police officer was following Hernandez and lost visual of Hernandez’s vehicle due to a large amount of dust created when Hernandez drove off the road.

Officer Johnson tried to slow down, but ended up driving into an empty canal, causing the officer’s vehicle to flip several times, authorities say.

The officer was able to free himself from his seatbelt, escape the overturned vehicle and continue to chase the suspect on foot. Hernandez was quickly apprehended by the officer and assisting officers including K-9 officer Eli.

The suspect was arrested and taken to the Coalinga Regional Medical Center where he refused to be treated for his injuries and was uncooperative with hospital staff.

Hernandez was later taken to the Fresno County Jail for charges of violation of parole, felony evading, resisting arrest, threatening an officer, battery to a police canine, robbery, vehicle theft, and DUI.

The officer was treated for his injuries at Adventist Health in Hanford and later released.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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