An allegedly intoxicated Turlock man was arrested Saturday evening after he led Ceres Police on a pursuit.
At 11:52 p.m. Ceres police dispatchers received a call about a possible drunken driver who may have brandished a firearm in the area of Central Avenue and Hackett Road. Officers went to the area and found a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description, a gray Suzuki. The car was being driven with its headlights off on northbound Blaker Road. Officer Jeremy Caron attempted to stop the driver, Jaswant Kooner, 51, of Turlock, as he turned onto westbound Whitmore Avenue. Kooner was weaving and at Morgan Road nearly collided with cars stopped for a red light. Kooner then pulled into the entrance into the McDonalds at Whitmore and Morgan with Caron performing a maneuver to spin the car at the restaurant drive-thru lane. Kooner was blocked in by the patrol car.
Police initiated a high-risk traffic stop where Kooner refused to get out of the car. Officer Keith Griebel walked up to the car and broke out the driver's door window. Kooner still refused to comply with orders so a police canine was deployed by Officer Jose Amador. The driver was arrested and then taken to a local hospital for treatment of a canine bite.
Kooner reportedly fell asleep on the gurney due to his heavy intoxication from prescription drugs and alcoholic beverages.
No gun was found in the car but a flashlight lying on the seat may have been mistaken for a gun, said Ceres Police Lt. Brent Smith.
Kooner will answer charges in court that he drove while drunk and leading police on a pursuit.
Ceres police also worked the following cases:
• DUI DRIVER HITS PARKED PICKUP - An allegedly intoxicated Ceres driver was arrested Sunday when an officer witnessed him back into a parked Toyota pickup at 2639 Roeding Road.
Sgt. Pat Crane was on patrol when he saw Kevin Muci, 46, of Ceres, backing a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer out of a driveway and into the Toyota and then took off.
Crane stopped Muci's vehicle a short time later at Sixth and Roeding and found Muci under the influence of alcohol. Crane also found an open can of beer in the car. A field sobriety test revealed that Muci had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .31.
Muci was arrested on charges of DUI, hit and run and driving without insurance.
• STOLEN GUN, DRUGS SEIZED - Two Modesto men were arrested Friday evening, Jan. 17, when a traffic stop yielded illegal drugs.
At 11:35 p.m. Officer Brian Albonetti attempted to stop a blue BMW for expired vehicle registration tags at Sonora and Anthony avenues. The driver, Ramon Mendoza, 22, of Modesto, decided to accelerate eastbound on Sonora at speeds of up to 50 mph and running stop signs. As the car rounded the corner at the intersection of Lucchesi Lane and Musick Avenue, the officer saw a handgun being tossed through a window. Once the gun was ditched, the driver finally stopped on Mock Avenue where a felony car stop was made. Four occupants were taken out at gunpoint.
Two female passengers were released.
The gun, a Glock 17 9-mm, was recovered.
A search of the car produced a high-capacity magazine stuffed behind the dash. The gun was stolen out of Oregon.
Police canine Duke checked the vehicle and "alerted" on drugs hidden in the console. Police seized 10 grams of methamphetamine and over three grams of marijuana.
Mendoza was arrested on charges of leading police on a pursuit, possession of methamphetamine, transportation of methamphetamine for sale, and felony gun possession.
Valentin Perez, 21, of Modesto, was arrested for violating the terms of his probation.
• CHARGES RACK UP FOR OFFENDER - A Ceres man who has a history of sexual crimes now has theft charges to face following his arrest at Walmart on Monday evening.
Joseph Fontana, 31, of Ceres, was apprehended for shoplifting at 6:36 p.m. Police learned that the car Fontana arrived in had license plates stolen out of Turlock. Fontana admitted that he took the plates from another vehicle because he could not afford the vehicle registration.
Upon further investigation it was learned that Fontana was out of compliance for failing to register as a sex offender. Fontana was arrested on charges of felony theft with priors, possession of stolen property, and failing to register as a sexual offender.
• DRUGS FOUND IN VEHICLE - The running of a stop sign ended with police stopping the driver who was found with eight grams of methamphetamine on Saturday.
Officer Lorenzo Beltran was on patrol at 3:38 p.m. when he saw Ernesto Delacruz, 30, of Ceres, travelling westbound on Hackett Road in a red Ford pickup and run the stop sign at Blaker Road. Delacruz was pulled over at Blaker and Kinser roads. Officer Beltran detected the odor of marijuana in the cab. Delacruz was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.