Two people were arrested early this morning following a car chase that led police officers from downtown Ceres and through the streets of south Modesto, authorities said.
At 12:52 a.m., an officer was about to stop a car on a traffic violation on El Camino Avenue when the driver took off in the 1989 Nissan 240 and headed northbound and onto Highway 99, according to Sgt. Dennis Perry of the Ceres Police Department.
Police followed and the driver, David Woolsey, 37, of Modesto, exited on Hatch Road, heading west. Woolsey sped through neighborhoods before police attempted to stop the car by using a “PIT maneuver,” Perry said.
The Police Intervention Technique is a tactic where a pursuing officer drives his car alongside a suspect’s car and taps the back panel to force the suspect’s car into a spin and hopefully a stall of the engine.
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The suspect’s car spun out, but the driver was able to continue on. He drove through the chain link fence of a home on Pecos Street, then headed south on Ninth Street. He then drove onto the south Ninth Street offramp from Highway 99, which would have had him going northbound in the oncoming southbound lanes, Perry said.
However, his female passenger, Tiffani Knight, 18, of Modesto, fearing an accident, grabbed hold of the steering wheel before the car made the highway it crashed into the ice plant that borders the offramp, Perry said.
She then fled the vehicle, but was quickly tracked down by a police dog. The driver ran across the freeway but was apprehended while trying to hide in the back yard of a home on Bystrom Road.
Woolsey was arrested on suspicion of auto theft and others charges, including one tied to another recent auto theft. Knight was booked for possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and two misdemeanor drug warrants.
Both were booked into Stanislaus County Jail.