A Wednesday, March 9 traffic violation prompted a Ceres officer to pull over a driver who promptly fled the scene with the officer in hot pursuit. The suspect did not get away and was arrested for possession of a stolen car, possession of stolen property and evading a police officer.
According to Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Keith Griebel, Officer Jesus Salinas was patrolling in the 1300 block of Grandview Avenue at 5:46 p.m. when he saw a driver make an illegal action. The driver, Michael Varnado, 25, of Modesto, initially pulled over and dropped off a male passenger who promptly laid down on the ground. Varnado then accelerated, eventually getting onto the freeway with Officer Salinas in pursuit.
The chase entered Modesto and exited Highway 99 at the Tuolumne Street exit. The driver tried to go over a medium on the west side of the freeway but the car became disabled. Varnado fled on foot toward the municipal golf course. A perimeter was set up and Varnado was found hiding in the yard at 401 Fairway Drive.
Varnado made statements that he fled because he had a warrant for his arrest but the vehicle was stolen.