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Man trying to elude DUI checkpoint crashes vehicle

California Highway Patrol officers arrested a 29-year-old Winton man on a variety of charges after he allegedly tried to elude them at a sobriety checkpoint on Santa Fe Drive west of Franklin Road.

Officer Luis Lara said Jose Bolivar Gutierrez made a U-turn out of a coned-off checkpoint area Friday at about 10:45 p.m. and he pursued him to Franklin Road, Belcher Avenue and Trindade Road. The Ford Taurus that Gutierrez was operating struck a wire-wood fence and the driver took off on foot.

Lara said a Stanislaus County helicopter and a Merced County Sheriff's Department canine searched for Gutierrez. A CHP officer located his footprints and traced them back to an area residence.

At about 12:55 a.m. Saturday, Gutierrez was found hiding under an old mattress in the backyard of a residence and arrested without further incident. He remained in Merced County Jail Sunday night in lieu of $15,370 bail on charges of being in possession of a switchblade knife, brass knuckles, driving on a suspended driver's license and hit-and-run driving, according to a correctional official.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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