Atwater suspect fleeing police runs bike into cruiser

mnorth@mercedsunstar.comMarch 29, 2013 

— A man was arrested Wednesday after he fled from officers and crashed his bicycle into a police cruiser, police say.

The incident started when an officer from the Atwater Police Department tried to stop Atwater resident Lance Garcia, 23, for two vehicle code violations he committed while riding his bike -- impeding traffic in a parking lot and running a stop sign, said Lt. Sam Joseph of the Atwater Police Department.

But Garcia fled from the area near First Street and Atwater Boulevard, leading several officers on a chase that lasted about 10 minutes, Joseph said.

When one of the officers pulled in front of Garcia near Fir Avenue and Packers Street, he crashed his bike into the driver's-side door and dented it, Joseph said.

Garcia then got up and tried to run away, Joseph said, but was apprehended. Police said he fought with the officers before finally being subdued.

No officers were injured, and Garcia declined medical treatment, Joseph said.

Garcia told officers that he ran because he had a marijuana bong in his backpack and didn't want to get cited for possessing drug paraphernalia, Joseph said.

Garcia was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of resisting arrest.

Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or

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