Clovis News

Fresno suspect crashes stolen pickup after chase

A man who police say was released recently from jail triggered a high-speed collision in a stolen pickup Thursday in southeast Fresno.

The collision occurred before noon at Belmont and Chestnut avenues. The man, who had a 6-year-old boy in the pickup, slammed into an SUV driven by a woman who had a young girl with her. None of the injuries was life-threatening. The crash happened after an auto-theft police unit tried to arrest the man near Fresno and Belmont avenues, Fresno police Captain Randy Dobbins said. The man, driving a stolen Chevrolet Colorado pickup, sped away.

Dobbins said officers from the Help Eliminate Auto Theft team called for help from a California Highway Patrol unit to stop the man, but the CHP broke off the pursuit a short time later, although police and CHP officers continued to keep the truck in sight.

The driver drove south of Fresno, then north on Clovis Avenue before he sped west on Belmont, occasionally on the wrong side of the street, police said. He ran a red light at Chestnut Avenue and slammed into the SUV, which was northbound on Chestnut.

After the crash, the man was in tears as he was taken into custody.

Although police were not actively pursuing the man, Dobbins said he continued to drive recklessly at speeds above 70 mph.

Dobbins said the man, who was facing narcotics charges, was released from Fresno County Jail in mid-August.

Referring to the man having a child with him, Dobbins said: "When you are dealing with a certain segment of society, they don't have any concern for themselves, their children or anybody else."