‘Lucky he didn’t smash into them and kill them’: Reckless driver attempts to flee in Fresno, deputies say

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A close call in Fresno County Tuesday morning after deputies say a reckless driver led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through Fresno.

Helicopter footage shows the driver running red lights, speeding over 100 mph, and going the wrong way into oncoming traffic. Investigators believe the driver was under the influence.

“It was definitely a danger to the public,” said Fresno Sheriff’s Office’s Tony Botti. “I mean with these red lights that he ran, we are lucky he didn’t smash into them and kill them today.”

The pursuit started just after 10:15 am Tuesday. Video shows an orange Dodge Caliber leading officers on a chase driving over a median and through a red light.

“He made numerous turns,” said Botti. “Ran red lights, was going upwards of 100 miles, at times.”

Several minutes into the pursuit, deputies say the driver headed into oncoming traffic nearly causing several head-on collisions. The Caliber did eventually crash into the back of one car but took off again. The driver continued to Manchester Mall, where he ran out of the car and into La Bella Rose Shoe Store.

“He was hiding behind a shoe rack,” said Botti. “They gave commands to show his hands and he wouldn’t so the CHP officer deployed his taser.”

40-year-old Miguel Contreras was arrested and faces several charges of evading police, hit-and-run, and being a felon in possession of ammunition. Botti said he was wanted for a previous offense of assault with a deadly weapon.

“We are now going to transport him to the hospital,” said Botti. “He is complaining of hearing voices in his head. People telling him to do stuff. So, of course, we need to do a mental health evaluation on him.”

No one was injured in the pursuit.

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