SPPD: Pursuit cancelled, but fleeing suspect causes 10th Street collision
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Police Department
Published: January 11, 2013
Although a police pursuit had been cancelled, the driver of a stolen vehicle kept fleeing until he caused a multi-vehicle collision on North 10th Street Wednesday, according to Santa Paula Police.
The incident occurred January 9 at approximately 12:07 p.m. when a SPPD officer patrolling the parking lot of Santa Paula Motel on East Main Street saw a man exit the driver’s side of a white Hyundai. Officer David Keathley found that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Ventura; he waited until the suspect got back into the vehicle and drove off westbound on East Main Street.
“In the area of 12th and Main Street, Officer Keathley attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle,” but Macias stated the vehicle “sped away at a high rate of speed,” turning northbound on 12th Street. “Due to heavy traffic conditions and students being released from area schools, Officer Keathley discontinued his attempt to purse the vehicle,” but kept the suspect vehicle in sight.
The Hyundai made a left turn into the north alley of East Main Street from 12th Street, and continued west though the alley towards 10th Street. According to Macias, “As the vehicle entered the northbound lane of traffic on 10th, it collided into a vehicle,” which was traveling northbound on 10th.
Another vehicle was also involved in the collision caused by the suspect’s Hyundai, which crashed into a streetlight outside the Santa Paula Art Museum, located at 117 N. 10th Street. The suspect exited the driver’s side of the extensively damaged Hyundai and fled on foot.
As he was chased, the suspect ran into a business located at 964 E. Main St. followed by police. According to Senior Detective Ken Clark, at that point the suspect “just gave up and officers took him into custody” without further incident.
Santa Paula Fire EMTs and ambulance paramedics treated a woman involved in the collision on scene before she was transported to Santa Paula Hospital for complaints of back pain.
The suspect was identified as Joseph Lopez, 24, of Fillmore. Macias said Lopez “was found to have an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for narcotic-related offences.” He was charged with evading arrest, hit-and-run with injuries, possession of illegal narcotics and vehicle theft.