A Merced woman sustained a broken nose, ribs and arm in a Sunday, Sept. 3 crash that ended a Ceres Police pursuit of the stolen vehicle she was driving.
Ceres Police Officer Ross Bays was on patrol at 10:49 p.m. when he saw a white Chevrolet Malibu being driven recklessly westbound on Hatch Road near Mitchell Road. He got behind the vehicle, which was reported stolen in Merced on Aug. 31, and tried to stop the driver on Hatch Road. That's when Anita Wilson, 44, of Merced, pulled over in a fake stop and then accelerated to speeds of over 90 mph, failing to slow or yield at several intersections. At one point Wilson drove on the north side of Hatch Road, creating a dust cloud when she hit the canal bank shoulder at about 50 mph. Wilson later drove onto the sidewalk near Richland Avenue and continued through the intersection at about 50 miles per hour westbound on Hatch Road.
The chase turned onto northbound on Herndon Road with Wilson nearly colliding with the metal pole at the corner while pedestrians were forced to jump out of her way. Doing about 80 mph, Wilson traveled the wrong direction on Herndon Road before turning westbound onto River Road where she nearly hit an approaching vehicle. Wilson continued on River Road at approximately 60 mph but was having difficulty maintaining control of the car. As she tried to turn northbound onto Ninth Street she struck the center divider which sent the car airborne about five feet, causing the vehicle to clear both southbound lanes of S. Ninth Street before landing on the shoulder. Lt. Chris Perry said the crash caused the car to catch fire.
Officers blocked the road for other traffic and immediately called for fire and paramedics to respond.
Officer Bays saw Wilson and passenger Aaron Teekllharper, 31, also of Merced, trying to flee the vehicle. He held both at gunpoint and awaited other officers to help arrest them. Officers struggled with taking Teekllharper into custody as he was uncooperative and kept reaching for items in the car as officer gave commands to cooperate. He was eventually arrested after officers deployed a Taser gun on him.
Police recovered about 25 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine stored in a clear plastic baggy on the passenger-side floor board. Officers believe Teekllharper was trying to discard this substance while being ordered out.
Teekllharper refused to answer officers' questions and was found to be on probation. He was charged with possession of a stolen car, reckless evading of police, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and violating the terms of his probation.
Wilson said she stole the car from a "trick," a term for a man who approached her for sex in exchange for money. Wilson said she and the Chevy's owner went to a Merced hotel together where she fell asleep. When she woke up the owner had fled with her money while leaving his car behind. Wilson said she stole the car and headed to a gas station in Merced where she picked up Teekllharper, told him the car was stolen and that she was heading to Modesto. Wilson said when Officer Bays tried to stop her Teekllharper told her to flee but she too full responsibility for actions.