Police say that a Tuolumne County man who had drugs in his car panicked during a traffic stop and led police on a 20-mile, four-officer pursuit on Thursday evening. The driver was eventually apprehended and his female passenger was also arrested on a felony warrant.
The incident started at 9:50 p.m. when Officer Justin Canatsy stopped a car at Hatch Road and Church Street. The driver, Garrett Anderson, 25, said he didn't have a drivers' license at which time the officer asked him to step out of the car. Ceres Police Department spokesman Lt. James Yandell said that Anderson jumped back in the car and locked the door and began digging in between the seats while Officer Canatsy held a gun on him. Anderson looked at the officer through the glass and said, "I'm sorry" before he took off. Canatsy initiated a pursuit through Ceres and ended up southbound on Faith Home Road. At Keyes Road Anderson crashed the car into an orchard. Officers jumped out and attempted to make a high-risk traffic stop but Anderson did not comply. He backed up the car toward the officers and took off again southbound on Faith Home Road.
The pursuit continued on Faith Home Road into Merced County. Anderson attempted to make a left turn onto Turner Road but failed to negotiate the turn and slid into a field where the car became struck. That's when Anderson took off in a southbound direction on foot until he was stopped by a canine released by Officer Coey Henson. The dog caught Anderson about 100 yards from the vehicle.
Lt. Yandell said that during the chase officers saw items being tossed through the suspect's windows but none of the items were recovered. During an interview Anderson said he was throwing small bindles of heroin out of the car.
Anderson was treated for dog bites and then booked into the County Jail on charges of felony evading a peace officer, and assault with a deadly weapon as well as a misdemeanor warrant out of Tuolumne County.
Passenger Amanda Wright, 25, was arrested on a felony warrant issued by Tuolumne County.