Pursuit ends with arrest of man, 24

Officials on hunt for three other suspects in case

May 27, 2013 

— A 24-year-old Santa Maria man was arrested by police early Sunday morning on suspicion of firing a weapon in downtown Merced.

Roberto Monson was taken into custody after a vehicle pursuit with officers, according to police.

The incident was reported about 2 a.m. after an officer in the downtown area heard gunshots. The officer also reported seeing people running in the 1700 block of Canal Street.

The officer found numerous shell casings near Canal and 18th streets, but didn't see any victims. Police learned the alleged culprits fled in a dark Chevy Suburban.

Other officers responding to the scene spotted a dark Suburban leaving westbound on 19th Street, police said.

Officers tried to stop the vehicle in the area of 19th and V streets, but the driver failed to stop, police said. Officers pursued the Suburban on Highway 59 at nearly 100 mph and then westbound on Olive Avenue. The Suburban turned onto Austin Avenue and into the Loughborough area, where the suspects drove down an alley and abandoned the vehicle.

Reviewing footage

Officers pursued the driver and three passengers on foot, taking Monson into custody. The driver, identified as Princeton Williams, and the two other passengers were able to escape.

No weapon was located but officers are reviewing video footage to determine identities of the other two suspects. Monson was booked at Merced County Jail on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm, conspiracy and resisting arrest.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-6913 or (209) 385-4702, or the department's automated tipline at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "Comvip" as the "keyword" in the text message.

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