MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A 23-year-old man was arrested in Merced, police say, on suspicion of trying to run over an officer and then leading law enforcement on an 11-mile pursuit.
According to the Merced Police Department Matthew Tijerina intentionally swerved his Honda Pilot into oncoming traffic and into the path of Officer Alejandro Arias Saturday night.
The department says Officer Arias was standing outside his patrol vehicle around 10:15 p.m. in the 3500 block of “G” Street when Tijerina allegedly steered his vehicle towards Arias, and then kept driving.
Nearby officers initiated a traffic stop, but they say Tijerina kept driving throughout the city. They also say at times he would slow down, lean outside the vehicle and display offensive hand gestures at the officers attempting to stop him.
Police say the pursuit finally ended at 16th and “R” Streets after they spike-stripped his tires, leaving him unable to continue.
Tijerina was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of felony assault on a peace officer, felony vehicle pursuit, and having felony warrants.