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Driver fights officers at the end of a chase
Ceres Cop Car

Police arrested a driver who led them on a lengthy Saturday night pursuit and ran because he thought he had warrants but didn't.

Michael Wells, 55, of Modesto, was found to be driving on a suspended license for a previous DUI. He was booked into the County Jail on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon, evading, resisting arrest, and driving on a suspended license.

The incident began at 11:32 p.m. when Officer Brian Petersen tried to stop the driver of a white Dodge pickup for vehicle code violations. The driver failed to yield on southbound Railroad Avenue and accelerated toward Industrial Avenue where the truck slowed down to made a U-turn traveling back northbound on Railroad Avenue.

The pickup was weaving and was aimed straight toward a second patrol unit that was assisting. Officer Petersen attempted a P.I.T (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver near the curve on Railroad Avenue south of Whitmore Avenue but was unsuccessful. Officer Kevin Sakasegawa deployed spike strips at Railroad and Whitmore avenues but maneuvered around it.

The driver turned onto westbound Whitmore Avenue, driving over 70 mph. The truck drove through several red traffic signal lights and stop signs before heading on southbound Morgan Road, westbound Service Road, southbound Crowslanding Road, eastbound Taylor Road, northbound Central Avenue and back to Railroad Avenue.

As the pursuit approached the curve again Officer Petersen used the PIT maneuver which successfully stopped the pickup near the intersection of Railroad and Whitmore. Officer Petersen pinned the driver's side with the front of his patrol SUV. The driver was still attempting to gain control of his truck, however another patrol SUV pinned the right front passenger side of the vehicle to prevent the truck from driving farther.

Officers drew their guns on Wells who bolted across the eastbound lanes of traffic toward the Ceres Pro Tow parking lot. Officer Vandagriff tackled Wells to the ground. The driver actively fought with officers until multiple officers were able to take him into custody.