One of two suspicious persons hanging out in the area of the Howard Johnson Inn early Wednesday, March 28, ran from police but was apprehended and found with 2.2 grams of powdered cocaine.
At 2 a.m. Officer Matt Berlier was patrolling the parking lot of the motel following reports of thefts in the area. Berlier spotted two suspicious men - one pushing a shopping cart and the other riding a bike wearing a backpack - who did not appear to be staying at the motel. Berlier spoke to a desk clerk who said the men were not hotel guests and did not belong on the property.
When Officer Berlier caught up to the men, 28-year-old Juan Bautista of Modesto took off running. Bautista ran across Herndon Road to the chain-link fence that separates the frontage road from Hwy 99. Berlier saw Bautista reach into his pockets and retrieve a small plastic bag that he threw over the fence.
The officer caught Bautista and pushed him against the fence. Bautista continued to resist and flee. Officer Berlier had to use physical force and tackle Bautista to the ground to handcuff Bautista.
Officer Berlier located the plastic bag on the shoulder of Hwy 99 which contained 2.2 grams of powdered cocaine. Bautista was transported and booked in county jail for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.