Central Valley

Highway 99 chase ends with Modesto man in custody

CERES -- A Modesto man is in custody after police said he led them on a 15-mile chase on Highway 99 that ended in Ripon when he crashed into an Auto Theft Task Force vehicle.

No injuries were reported.

Michael Mize, 51, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of evading police, being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, committing a felony while out on bail and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from the crash.

Ceres police Sgt. Chris Perry said Wednesday that Mize also had arrest warrants related to drug sales and drug trafficking out of Stanislaus County, but he did not have any further information about the warrants.

Mize was being held Wednesday at Stanislaus County Jail. His bail was set at $182,020.

Perry said the pursuit began about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday on Highway 99 near Mitchell Road in Ceres. Mize was driving a 1980s Chevrolet Blazer north on the highway.

Officers attempted to pull Mize over on suspicion of Vehicle Code violations. Perry said Mize did not stop and fled from police, reaching speeds of 80 mph.

The Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force had joined the pursuit by the time the suspect reached Ripon.

Perry said Mize purposely broadsided a vehicle driven by task force members. Mize continued to drive away, but the crash had done enough damage to the Blazer that it forced the chase to come to an end on the highway near Second Street, police said.

Mize was taken into custody without further incident.

Near the end of the pursuit, authorities reportedly saw the driver throw a gun out of his vehicle. Perry said a gun was recovered.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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