Joseph Antonio Espinoza arrested near Fresno State
A man suspected of driving a stolen car was found hiding in a dumpster after he allegedly rammed a police car and later ran off with a woman passenger.
Authorities initially said the man and woman were arrested, but Fresno County Sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti said Wednesday that the woman was never found after she ran off with the man. The man, hiding in the dumpster, was bitten by a police K-9 before he was arrested, Botti said.
Fresno police, sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers arrived at the El Cazador Apartments complex around 6:30 p.m. on Cedar Avenue south of Shaw Avenue in search of the man.
Botti said Wednesday that members of the Fresno HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) Task Force tried to stop the man at a nearby McDonald's parking lot on Shaw Avenue, west of Cedar, and that's when the man drove into the police cars and later fled with the unknown woman.
K-9s were used to search for the man as a helicopter circled above. Officers in tactical gear later walked into the complex and found the man, who was believed to be armed. No weapons were found on him, Botti said. His name was not provided.
At one point, anyone leaving the complex by car had their vehicles searched as police looked for the man.