Man turns from DUI checkpoint, leads officers in pursuit, police say

A 22-year-old man was arrested Saturday after allegedly trying to avoid a DUI checkpoint and initiating a short pursuit with Merced police.

Police said they'd set up the checkpoint around 8:30 p.m. in the 2100 block of northbound M Street when they saw Matthew Galvan turn his 2009 Dodge Charger away from the checkpoint. Officer Craig McKeeman followed Galvan and tried to pull him over near 21st and K streets, but the suspect sped off, according to Sgt. Jay Struble.

Galvan passed through several stop signs and finally jumped out of his car, while it was still moving, at 24th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The Charger rolled into a parked truck, while Galvan fled on foot.

While trying to escape, Galvan injured himself on a fence he was trying to climb. A spike on the fence went into Galvan's leg and police captured him after a short foot pursuit.

Galvan was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of driving on a suspended license, violating his parole, failure to yield to police and resisting arrest.

Police reported 509 cars passed through the DUI checkpoint. Of those cars one driver, 44-year-old Leonard Paige, was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving on a suspended license.

— Sun-Star staff