Atwater man arrested after chase

High-speed pursuit ends with crash into orchard

mnorth@mercedsunstar.comMarch 14, 2013 

— A man was arrested Wednesday after leading officers on a high-speed chase, police reported Thursday.

Huriel Cervantes, a 21-year-old Atwater resident, fled from police around 7:30 p.m. after an officer tried to stop him on Campbell Boulevard near Main Street, police said.

Officers noticed he was driving without his headlights on and the vehicle was missing a license plate, said Chief Ruben Chavez of the Livingston Police Department.

The pursuit lasted more than a mile and ended when Cervantes lost control, crashing in an orchard near the corner of Walnut Avenue and Sycamore Street, Chavez said.

Suspect went into home

A resident in the 11000 block of Walnut Avenue told officers that after he left the house upon hearing the crash, he went back inside and saw a man in his kitchen, Chavez said. The resident retreated from his house, but did go back inside briefly to get his dog.

The resident then told officers there were unsecured firearms inside the house, Chavez said, and gave authorities permission to search the home.

The Merced County Sheriff's SWAT team arrived at the scene and negotiated with the man, who eventually surrendered without further incident.

He is accused of removing the license plates from the vehicle, which was reported stolen from Livingston.

Cervantes, who's on probation, was arrested and booked at a jail on suspicion felony evasion of an officer, possession of a stolen vehicle, obstructing a police officer, probation violation and other vehicle code violations, police said.

Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or mnorth@mercedsunstar.com.

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