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Officer shoots at chase suspect who aimed car his direction
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A Ceres teenager was nearly shot when he steered his car toward an officer during a high-speed pursuit on Sunday.

Ceres police officers took a report at 6:33 p.m. of a 17-year-old male who had assaulted his mother and took the family's car without permission, thus making the stolen. Officers learned that the same teen had assaulted his father the previous day, resulting in the victim sustaining injuries that required treatment at a local hospital. The father prevented the son from taking the vehicle at that time, and the boy left the home and was reported as a runaway.

At 11:04 p.m. on Sunday, a Ceres police officer located the stolen white Ford Focus on Central Avenue and Industrial Way, which was being driven by the boy and was occupied by two passengers. The officer activated his emergency lights and siren to initiate an enforcement stop but the teen led him on a chase instead, reaching speeds of up to 90 mph through country roads. The chase went into an orchard off of Keyes Road where officers temporarily lost sight of him. The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department helicopter informed officers on the ground that the vehicle had collided into a home. A Ceres police officer ran to the roadway, anticipating the occupants to exit the vehicle and the vehicle sped towards the roadway.

Police said the teen intentionally steered the Ford toward the officer, so the officer fired his weapon at the vehicle in an effort to defend himself. The officer managed to move out of the path of the vehicle and the vehicle was not struck by the bullets.

A police intervention technique, (known as the P.I.T. maneuver) was implemented by a Ceres police officer to disable the stolen vehicle on Sperry Road and Whitmore Avenue. The vehicle spun into an orchard, where it collided into a tree.

The occupants of the vehicle fled on foot into the orchard. The boy and a 17-year-old female, also a reported runaway, were apprehended. The third occupant fled the area and was not located.

The names of the minors were not be released due to their age, nor will the identity of the victims. The name of the officer who fired his weapon will be withheld at this time since this matter remains under investigation.

Ceres Police Department is asking anyone with any information on this case to call Sgt. Dennis Perry at 538-5638 or the Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers.