A 32-year-old Modesto man was arrested Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 31, after he led Ceres Police on a high-speed chase into the country.
Officer Brian Petersen was working patrol driving south on El Camino Avenue at 3:23 p.m. when he attempted to stop a red Lincoln Navigator for vehicle code violations. In the car were driver Justin Bello, 32, of Modesto, and passenger Lisa Chavez, 36, of Modesto.
Bello pulled over at Ninth Street and El Camino Avenue but accelerated off after Petersen got out of his patrol car. Officer Petersen got back in his patrol vehicle and gave chase northbound on Ninth Street. Bello ran several stop signs on eastbound Roeding Road. By the time he reached Rose Avenue, the Lincoln was traveling at 60 mph and forcing vehicles off the roadway. The officer saw Bello take vehicles head on in the westbound lanes on Roeding Road. Bello continued driving eastbound on Roeding Road running the stop sign on Moore Road and passing cars and forcing some off the road. While turning left onto Faith Home Road, Bello nearly crashed into an oncoming southbound tractor-trailer rig.
The pursuit continued northbound on Faith Home Road before going eastbound on Whitmore Avenue toward Hughson. Bello made a sudden left turn into an almond orchard at 3141 E. Whitmore Avenue. When it came back out of the orchard, Sergeant Travis Hudson got the Lincoln near the intersection of Hatch Road and Clinton Road. The car hit the edge of Hatch Road and went airborne, nearly hitting another vehicle. Bello's car traveled to the dead end of Clinton Road where it drove around a ranch fence and continued on a dirt road through orchards and farm property.
The vehicle smashed through a steel fence and jumped the railroad tracks that run parallel with Santa Fe Avenue just west of Lakewood Memorial Park. The car turned north onto Santa Fe and then made a sharp left turn on a steep road down just south of the Santa Fe bridge. The vehicle approached a residential property and turned north right through the property, over the grass and through their property fence, mowing over a small tree and destroying a wooden fence. The vehicle became stuck on a small antique plow/trailer in the yard at 865 Santa Fe Ave.
Bello bailed on foot through an orchard with Hudson pursuing in the patrol car. Bello was seen jamming his hands into his waistband to retrieve and throw down a small baggie containing a white substance. Bello then stopped and put his hands in the air and fell to the ground as instructed by Sergeant Hudson.
The female passenger was eventually released at the scene.
Officers searched the suspect SUV and located drug paraphernalia on the driver's side floor board. It was determined that Bello was driving on a suspended license and was on active PRCS for auto theft and resisting arrest.
He was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on charges of felony evading police, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, driving on a suspended license, probation violation, and a warrant for auto theft.