Afternoon Newsletter

Suspect in weekend pursuit captured by Merced Sheriff's deputies

A 30-year-old wanted parolee who escaped from law enforcement after a weekend vehicle pursuit was captured by Merced County Sheriff's deputies Monday morning.

Richard Castillo was taken into custody around 10:45 a.m. Monday at a location in the 1700 block of West 7th Street in south Merced, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.

Law enforcement had been seeking Castillo since Saturday, when he eluded capture after a vehicle pursuit with Merced police.

The pursuit began after 7 p.m. Saturday on the south side of Merced. Officers saw Castillo driving through stop signs, authorities said. Officers attempted to stop him, but Castillo refused to pull over, according to Lt. Tom Trindad of the Merced Police Department.

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

The chase led to the area of Highway 140 and Interstate 5, just west of Gustine. Sometime during the incident, a Merced police officer discharged his firearm. Castillo escaped on foot after the vehicle pursuit, according to Sgt. Anthony Bejaran, spokesman for Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department.

Because the officer-involved shooting happened in Stanislaus County, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department is handling that part of the investigation.

Thus far, Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputies have released little information about the circumstances of the officer-involved shooting.

-- Sun-Star staff