Suspect intentionally hit patrol cars during hour-long pursuit: reports

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The driver of a car that led police on a wild hour-long pursuit in May intentionally struck multiple patrol vehicles, sped along the wrong side of the road and resisted arrest once the car became disabled, according to court documents.

The driver, Gabriel Guillen, 36, of Porterville faces charges including four counts of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.

A passenger, Ruben Lemus Gomez, 26, of Delano is charged with resisting arrest. Bakersfield Police Department reports say he struggled with officers and a Taser was deployed to take him into custody.

Another passenger, a woman who told police she begged for Guillen to pull over and let her out, was not charged.

Police said the chase lasted a total of 66 minutes and covered 47 miles.

The pursuit began about 10:55 p.m. on May 27 after Officer Jose Medrano saw a gray Honda Civic fail to come to a complete stop as it drove south through the intersection of Haley and Flower streets.

When Medrano tried to pull the car over, the Honda sped up and turned west onto Niles Street then went north onto Beale Avenue through a red light, according to police. The Honda made a U-turn on Beale and drove south through a red light, nearly colliding with a black sedan headed east on Monterey Street.

Two patrol vehicles were now following the Honda, which accelerated to about 70 mph before turning east onto East Truxtun Avenue, the documents say. The car turned west onto California Avenue, swerved around multiple vehicles then went south onto Union Avenue.

Still refusing to pull over, the car entered Highway 58 and reached speeds of 90 mph as it weaved between vehicles. It exited the freeway and turned south onto South Edison Highway. Now five BPD cruisers were in pursuit.

As the chase continued, the Honda drove on the wrong side of the road, forcing multiple vehicles to swerve out of the way to avoid a collision, according to the documents. The car then led police west onto Hermosa Road before turning north onto Weedpatch Highway.

The number of police vehicles involved rose to seven.

At this point, the driver began tossing multiple items from the car. A handgun was later recovered in an area where the Honda drove past, police said.

Near the end of the pursuit, the Honda intentionally hit police cruisers, the reports say. In one instance, the car traveled directly at a patrol vehicle which swerved out of the way to avoid a head-on collision, the Honda passing close enough it hit the cruiser’s passenger side window, police said.

The chase ended in a front yard in the 1500 block of Country Club Drive, where the Honda hit another patrol vehicle before police boxed it in, according to the reports.

Guillen refused to leave the car. A police dog was deployed, and officers pulled Guillen from the vehicle and handcuffed him, the reports say.

Gomez resisted until a Taser was used on him, police said.

The woman, her name redacted in the reports, told police she had known Guillen about a month. She said he picked her up in Porterville and was supposed to drive her to Visalia.

She told police he kept her in the car against her will after the chase began.

Guillen is held without bail and due back in court July 6. Gomez has a hearing set for Aug. 16.

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