John’s Incredible Pizza evacuated
A popular restaurant geared toward family entertainment was abruptly evacuated Thursday night as police searched for a driver of a stolen vehicle inside the northeast Fresno business.
Customers including children and employees at John’s Incredible Pizza were told to clear the establishment around 9 p.m after a man crashed a stolen vehicle nearby then fled on foot into the establishment.
Police locked down the building as they searched for the suspect. Fresno police Lt. Bill Dooley said officers discovered ceiling tiles removed, leading them to believe the suspect might have found a hiding spot in the crawl space.
On Friday afternoon, a Clovis police spokesman said the suspect eluded officers and remained at large.
A total of four people were in the stolen vehicle when Clovis police started chasing it.
Clovis officers eventually backed off in their pursuit for safety reasons, but a Fresno police helicopter continued to follow the vehicle.
As the stolen vehicle crossed Cedar Avenue going east on Herndon Avenue, it ran a red light and collided with another vehicle at the intersection, then crashed into a tree.
The three passengers, a female and two males, were apprehended.
One of the male passengers suffered a broken leg, Dooley said. Another passenger was on parole, he added. Ages of the passengers were not immediately known.
The driver of the vehicle that collided with the stolen car was not injured, police said.
The driver of the stolen vehicle, meanwhile, ran from the car going north.
Officers searched the surrounding areas but were unable to find anyone, Dooley said.
Police then checked with staff at John’s Incredible Pizza and found surveillance video of the man who they believed to be the driver entering the business.