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Police pursuit ends in guns, drug arrest
Suspect Cortez tries to escape at hospital
Damian Cortez
Damian Cortez was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 20 after he led Ceres Police on a high-speed chase that was halted by a crash. Loaded guns and drugs were seized. - photo by Courtesy of Ceres Police Dept.

A 39-year-old man led Ceres Police on a high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 20, probably because his car contained methamphetamine and a loaded .380 handgun within his reach and a Mac 11 9mm unconventional pistol with a loaded magazine.

Ceres Police Sgt. Darren Venn was monitoring traffic at Caswell Avenue and Second Street at 12:34 p.m. when he saw a silver Mustang speeding approximately 20 to 25 mph over the speed limit. Sgt. Venn attempted to stop the driver, Damian Gabriel Cortez, 39, for the speeding but did not pull over after red lights and siren came on. Cortez entered the intersection of Hatch Road and Central Avenue at a high rate of speed against a red light and collided with an eastbound vehicle. Both vehicles came to rest and Cortez was taken into custody. The driver of the other vehicle was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with minor injuries to a knee.

Cortex was found to be on active parole. While he was being medically cleared at a local hospital before booking, Cortez broke free but was recaptured. He was booked into the Public Safety Center for evading a police officer, possession of a controlled substance and numerous weapons violations.