VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Two men were arrested in Visalia after fleeing a stolen vehicle they had crashed Friday afternoon, according to the Visalia Police Department.
Police say around 1:20 p.m. they responded to Caldwell Avenue and Ben Maddox Way for a traffic collision. As they were responding, two men fled a Dodge truck that was involved on foot. The occupant of the other vehicle was transported to a local hospital.
Officers say they learned the truck was stolen from Porterville and additional officers came to search the area.
Authorities found 38-year-old Blake Howerton with assistance from an aerial unit and identified him as the driver of the stolen truck. He is on AB109 mandatory supervision for Grand Theft and has an outstanding no-bail arrest warrant for Auto Theft, Possession of Burglary Tools, Grand Theft, and a drug-related offense.
Police say Howerton was arrested under suspicion of auto theft, felony hit-and-run, and his outstanding warrant, and is being treated for the injuries he sustained during the traffic accident.
Eventually, officers say they were able to arrest and identify 42-year-old Michael Rodriguez as the passenger of the stolen truck after several calls reported a suspicious man near the 900 block of E Arlen Avenue. Rodriguez is on CDC Parole for auto theft.