Deputies bust 16-year-old in Winton for carrying a firearm and marijuana

The Merced Sheriff's Office said it arrested a 16-year-old male for carrying a firearm and possession of marijuana in Winton.

Just before 4 p.m. on Oct. 29, the sheriff’s office got a report of a teen carrying a firearm in the area of Jones Road and Santa Fe Ave. When Deputy Jeremy Gallagher arrived, he found a suspect matching the description in the area of Myrtle Ave and McConnell Drive. When Gallagher tried to stop him, the teen took off on his bike.

While chasing the suspect on foot, he went through Winton Park onto Arlene Drive before being stopped by other deputies setting up a perimeter. When the suspect was stopped, two baggies of marijuana were found on him, along with a cloth holster for a handgun, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie.

After searching the area, a loaded .25 caliber semiautomatic was located on Arlene Drive under a boat where the suspect later admitted to tossing it as he ran. The suspect said he met some friends who were gang members and they told him to hold the gun and meet with them later that day.

At first he said he didn't recognize Gallagher’s marked patrol unit as a “police” car and thought it might have been rival gang members telling him to stop. Then he told another deputy that he was listening to music on a headset and didn’t hear the commands to stop. He finally admitted that he didn’t want to get caught with the gun and marijuana, according to MacKenzie.

The suspect was booked into Juvenile Hall without bail.