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Pursuit goes from Ceres past Empire
Kenneth Blanton
Kenneth Blanton was arrested after leading Ceres Police on a chase from Ceres to the Waterford area on Feb. 21. - photo by Courtesy of Ceres Police

A lengthy police pursuit of a driver snaked through residential areas of Ceres and Modesto before it ended with an arrest in Waterford on Feb. 21.

Kenneth Blanton, 18, of Modesto was booked for evading police, child endangerment, violating probation and using his brother's name when police apprehended him.

The incident began at 11:30 p.m. when Ceres Police Sgt. Trenton Johnson was behind a gray Mazda Tribute which had stopped about four car lengths away from the intersection of northbound Moffett Road at Hatch Road. After three light rotations, Johnson pulled up next to Blanton's Mazda and asked him what he was doing. The sergeant instructed Blanton to pull up to the limit line of the intersection to wait for a green light. When it did Blanton drove straight. Suspecting that the teen may have been drunk, Sgt. Johnson initiated a traffic stop. Blanton pulled over on Moffett Road north of Hatch Road.

Inside the car the sergeant saw the driver, a pregnant 15-year-old female passenger and a 16-year-old male in the back seat. Blanton said he didn't have a driver's license on him and used his brother's name. When asked to produce identification, Blanton began to dig through the center console, an action which concerned Johnson and was asked to step out of the car. Instead, the driver put his car in gear and sped off.

After the chased ended up on eastbound Yosemite Boulevard, Sheriff's deputies deployed spike strips near Missouri Avenue in Waterford. The front tires of the Mazda popped and ended the run., Blanton was apprehended without incident.

Because the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the sergeant speculated that the suspect fled due to a suspended license.

The minors in the car refused medical attention and were released to their parents.