Chowchilla felon hid in an attic after a car chase, police said. But he left officers a clue

Nicholas Hernandez
Nicholas Hernandez /Chowchilla Police Department

A suspected gang member who tried to evade police in Chowchilla was found hiding in an attic in a home, police said.

Nicholas Hernandez, a 21-year-old man described by police as a known gang member and felon, was spotted driving a Honda Pilot near the intersection of Myer Drive and Kites Way at about 10:40 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release.

A records check revealed Hernandez didn’t have a license, the release states. The officer passed Hernandez on the road and made a U-turn to get behind the felon. But Hernandez made a U-turn at the same time and evaded Cobb as they passed each other again.

Hernandez then led officers on a high-speed chase from Myer Drive to Washington Road and Defender Street, according to the release. At the corner of Defender Street and North 15th Street, a nearby resident told officers the Honda was close by.

Police found the vehicle, which came back as being stolen out of Oakhurst, the release states. Chowchilla police and Madera County deputies surrounded the home and called Hernandez out multiple times.

Police entered the home with a search warrant and found a dining room chair placed underneath the access to the attic, according to the release. Hernandez was found buried in the home insulation in the attic.

The Chowchilla resident was arrested and booked into Madera County jail on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, resisting arrest and a felony probation violation, the release states. Hernandez was on felony probation for possessing a firearm as a felon.

The incident closed North 15th Street through Monday morning.

Vikaas Shanker: 209-385-2407, @vikaasshanker

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.