‘We were very nervous’: Customers react to search for suspect inside pizza place

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

A man remains on the run one day after leading police on a high-speed chase from Clovis to Fresno in a stolen car. 

Officers say he hit another car before getting out and running into John’s Incredible Pizza. Customers inside had to be evacuated just after 9 Thursday evening. 

The high-speed chase came to an end at Herndon and Cedar. A portion of the fence is missing and there is damage to a tree. 

“I was shocked,” said Tami Cobb who works nearby. “We normally don’t hear about that kind of stuff here.”

Inside the restaurant, police searched for the suspect who ditched his stolen car. 

“We were very nervous because they didn’t know where he was,” said Lela Flores who was celebrating her daughter’s birthday at the pizza place. 

Flores was about to leave for the night when her family was told to stay put for about 30 minutes before being evacuated. Police say surveillance showed the suspect inside. Ceiling tiles were moved leaving officers to believe the suspect was in the ceiling before making an escape.

“That’s nerve-racking to know that he got away,” Cobb said. 

But before the suspect stole a Ford Fiesta, slamming it into a fence and a tree, he led police on a chase that started near Willow and Herndon in Clovis.

At one point he ran a red light hitting another vehicle. The driver was not hurt. Three others were inside the stolen car. One got a broken finger and another a broken femur. Police say they were not arrested.

“I hope they can get some information out of the guys that he was with and get him,” Cobb concluded.

Clovis police said on Friday that the suspect’s whereabouts were unknown. 

John’s Incredible Pizza back to business and is open. 

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