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Police pursuit into Modesto ends in arrest
• Man says he fled because he thought a warrant was issued for his arrest
Ashneel Chaudhary
Ashneel Chaudhary

A Friday evening pursuit of a suspect from Ceres into Modesto ended in the arrest of the driver on multiple charges.

Ashneel Chaudhary, 29, of Modesto, faces charges felony evading a police officer, assault with a deadly weapon, driving on a suspended license and a Colorado warrant.

The incident unfolded at 9:10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 when Officer Nicolas Welsh came across a Chevrolet sedan stopped on Second Street just south of Whitmore Avenue. The vehicle has its emergency flashers activated and Chaudhary was standing outside of the car on the driver side. Believing the car was disabled, Officer Welsh pulled up to offer assistance. Officer Welsh noticed that the passenger car displayed a commercial license plate and that it had an expired tag.

As Officer Welsh exited his patrol car, Chaudhary walked to the back of the vehicle to block Welsh’s view of the license plate and said he was waiting for his brother. As Officer Welsh tried to read the license plate, Chaudhary jumped into the car and sped off.

Officer Welsh chased after Chaudhary Whitmore Avenue to northbound Highway 99 at speeds of up to 100 mph. Officer Welsh provide the license plate number to dispatchers who confirmed that the plate on the Chevrolet belonged on a 2006 Toyota. 

During the pursuit, Chaudhary drove the vehicle onto the right shoulder several times, which caused a front tire to go flat. Chaudhary took the Kansas Avenue off-ramp, then made an evasive left turn onto the Kansas on-ramp and back onto northbound Highway 99. The suspect spun out on the freeway, ending up facing southbound in the number two lane of northbound 99.

Officer Welsh positioned his vehicle in front of the Chevrolet in an effort to block it and as Officer Welsh exited his patrol vehicle and began giving orders for Chaudhary to exit his vehicle, Chaudhary ignored these commands and rammed the patrol car.

Chaudhary make a U-turn to flee northbound on the freeway, taking the Briggsmore Avenue off-ramp. The pursuit ended on Briggsmore Avenue and Prescott Avenue when Officer Welsh performed a successful pursuit intervention technique to disable Chaudhary’s vehicle. He was taken into custody. He stated he had run because he thought he had a warrant out of Colorado.