Afternoon Newsletter

Officer-involved shooting reported near Gustine

A 30-year-old parolee remains at-large after Merced police pursued him Saturday night into south Stanislaus County.

During the incident a Merced police officer discharged his firearm, although no injuries were reported to either officers or the suspect, according to Sgt. Anthony Bejaran, public information officer for Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.

Bejaran said his agency is handling the officer-involved shooting portion of the investigation into the incident because it happened in Stanislaus County. Bejaran identified the suspect as Richard Castillo, 30, of Merced.

Castillo is wanted for assault with a deadly weapon, Bejaran said.

The pursuit began sometime after 7 p.m. Saturday on the south side of Merced. Officers saw the suspect driving, passing through stop signs. Officer attempted to make a vehicle stop, but Castillo refused to pull over, according to Merced Police Lt. Tom Trindad.

The pursuit continued on Highway 140 toward Gustine. Merced County Sheriff’s deputies, along with California Highway Patrol, were also involved in the pursuit.

Details about what happened after the pursuit remain unclear. The chase led to the area of Highway 140 and Interstate 5, just west of Gustine. Bejaran on Sunday said his department wasn't releasing the circumstances of the officer-involved shooting, or the officer's name.

Bejaran said the suspect escaped on-foot after the pursuit.

Anyone with information about Castillo's whereabouts can call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Residents can text a tip to TIP411 (847411) using "comvip" as the first word in the text message.

City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or