Man arrested after high-speed pursuit in Atwater

mnorth@mercedsunstar.comMay 1, 2013 

— A man who led officers on a high-speed pursuit through residential neighborhoods Tuesday was arrested after a three-minute chase that lasted over a mile, Atwater police said Wednesday.

The pursuit started when officer David Walker spotted a white 1989 Honda Civic near First Street and Broadway that had evaded him in a pursuit last week, said Lt. Sam Joseph.

Walker turned his squad car around and caught up to the vehicle in the 900 block of Broadway, Joseph said.

The driver, 25-year-old Raymond Loewen of Winton, started to pull over when Walker activated his lights and siren, but Loewen then fled west on Fir Avenue, Joseph said.

Loewen passed through stop signs and sped through neighborhoods at about 70 mph, Joseph said, and Walker lost sight of the suspect vehicle twice during the pursuit.

Eventually, the Civic was found abandoned in an apartment complex in the 2700 block of Winton Way, Joseph said. Officers found Loewen near intersection of Winton Way and Bellevue Road.

Loewen had the keys and admitted to driving the car, and officers found that he was in possession of a small amount of crystal methamphetamine and a meth pipe, Joseph said.

Loewen was arrested on suspicion of several drug and vehicle code violations, and was booked at the Merced County Jail, Joseph said. The vehicle was towed and impounded.

Joseph credited Atwater police officers for sticking with the pursuit and arresting suspect, who he classified as a "very dangerous guy."

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

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