Ruben Muniz, 32, of Modesto, was arrested Friday evening after he was spotted by a Ceres Police officer speeding over the Hatch Road overpass, running a red traffic signal and driving reckless in other ways.
Officer Brian Petersen was patrolling the area of Hatch and Herndon roads at 10:54 p.m. when he saw Muniz’s car speeding and blowing past the light while westbound on Hatch Road. Petersen chased the vehicle, which reached speeds of over 80 mph. Muniz made an abrupt stop after the railroad tracks and made a quick left southbound onto Jim Way. The vehicle almost crashed as it made a westbound turn onto Olivero Road. Officer Peterson saw the car continue speeding and nearly crashed into a car in front as he overtook it. For a time, the car rocked side to side before the driver regained control and continued westbound on Olivero Road at a speed of nearly 80 mph. The car then slid into the dirt shoulder onto Olivero Road. Officer Petersen exited his patrol SUV and watched Muniz casually begin walking towards the patrol car as if nothing had occurred. Petersen drew his gun and ordered Muniz on his knees and to place his hands behind his back.
Peterson could smell alcohol on Muniz, who also had slurred speech. Sgt. Vince Hooper arrived and recognized Muniz as the man who he had conversed with about 30 minutes earlier behind Hot Rod Diner. Hooper said Muniz was intoxicated at that time and sitting in the passenger seat of the same vehicle and explained that he was awaiting someone to pick him up because he was unable to drive.
Muniz refused a field sobriety test and submit a breath sample in the breathalyzer, stating he did not want it to hurt his case. Hooper obtained a search warrant to force Muniz to undergo an evidentiary blood draw at Doctors Medical Center. He was then booked at the Stanislaus Public Safety Center for misdemeanor DUI and reckless driving.