Crime

‘A Bowl of Stupid?’ Car thief suspect’s shirt raises question after high-speed chase

Tracey Dillard, 29, was arrested in Atwater by deputies of the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, on suspicion of possession of drugs after he led authorities on a chase through apartment complexes and mobile parks in Atwater.
Tracey Dillard, 29, was arrested in Atwater by deputies of the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, on suspicion of possession of drugs after he led authorities on a chase through apartment complexes and mobile parks in Atwater. Courtesy Merced County Sheriff's Office

Merced County deputies said a 29-year-old man raced a stolen pickup truck through a senior citizens community during a high-speed chase while carrying four grams of methamphetamine and was captured wearing a t-shirt that asked: “Did you eat a bowl of stupid for breakfast?”

Tracey Dillard also tried to fight the sheriff’s deputies who arrested him around 9:30 a.m. Friday in Atwater, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release posted online. The sheriff’s Facebook post included the photograph of the man wearing the t-shirt.

Merced County Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Blake tried to make a vehicle stop on a reported stolen vehicle, a 1998 Chevy S-10, that was traveling east on Bellevue Road near Muir Avenue at 9:22 a.m. Friday, Merced County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Allen said.

The driver, later identified by deputies as Dillard, sped away from the deputy, leading a chase through an apartment complex on Bellevue Road to a senior citizens trailer community on Muir Avenue before traveling through a dirt field and a residential property on Acacia Court, damaging a fence, Allen said.

Dillard ran from the vehicle in the area of Crest Road and Cameo Court. He was chased down in the 1100 block of Kelso Street and began “kicking and fighting” when deputies captured him trying to climb a fence. Sgt. Blake used his department-issued baton to take Dillard into custody. Dillard suffered an arm injury during the struggle, Allen said.

Deputies said Dillard was carrying about four grams of methamphetamine and several unidentified pills.

According to deputies, Dillard was acting “weird,” Allen said. And it wasn’t clear Friday if Dillard was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Dillard was arrested and booked into Merced County Jail Friday, the release states.

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