Ceres Police officers Dirk Nieuwenhuis and Brian Albonetti were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries after their patrol car was struck head-on Sunday evening during a pursuit chase with a suspect.
The officers, assigned to the Street Crimes Unit, observed a transaction take place at 10:11 p.m. between two men in the alley south of the 1900 block of Darrah Street. One of the males was in a white Toyota Solara. When the Officers pulled behind the car the driver sped off and a chase was on. When the suspect, Anthony Vierra, 26, of Modesto, rounded the corner at Ninth Street and Roeding Road he lost control and flipped the car around where it was now pointing at the patrol car. As the officers turned the corner the suspect was accelerating at them and a head-on collision occurred, causing deployment of both airbags in the police car. Nieuwenhuis and Albonetti climbed out and and handcuffed both occupants of the car.
Evidence of drug sales was located inside the car.
Vierra was booked for drug sales, evading police causing injury and assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon. He was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail.
The passenger was later released.