No arrests have been made but a truck has been impounded for 30 days, and a weapon, drugs and paraphernalia were seized in connection with an early Friday afternoon manhunt in the city.
Escalon Police Chief Mike Borges said items confiscated from the vehicle, including a loaded Glock .40 caliber handgun, are being checked for fingerprints that will hopefully lead to the identification of a man who eluded police capture.
“We are in the process of processing the evidence, seeing if there are any useable fingerprints, trying to trace the weapon through the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) to see if we can locate where the weapon came from,” Borges said.
The driver of the vehicle was described as a Hispanic male adult about 35 years of age, about five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. He had short brown hair, a goatee and mustache trimmed short. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and tan pants.
The man fled from the 1300 block of Yosemite after officers attempted to contact him about 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, said Borges.
According to the police report, Officer Carl Poortinga observed a Ford pick-up with Texas license plates park on Yosemite Avenue and he recognized the truck as one he had had contact with on Jan. 16. At that time, a loaded handgun was found in the vehicle. The driver this time was not the one arrested in January but police said the man appeared nervous and tried the doors at a home and then opened a window to gain entry.
Officers were eventually able to determine that the home was that of the subject’s girlfriend, who arrived at the scene. The subject in the home would not open the door but talked with the woman and officers through a window.
Provided with a name for the man, Borges said they were unable to locate any information about him and also could not find a valid driver’s license in that name.
“Due the evasiveness of the subject, the lack of valid identification, and lack of a valid driver’s license, we told the subject his vehicle was going to be towed due to him being an unlicensed driver,” Borges added.
The man then began yelling at officers from the window in English as well as Spanish, the chief said, and as police went back to the pickup, he unlocked the front door and allowed the female into the duplex.
As officers went to the truck to inventory it prior to towing, Borges said the man left the duplex and then fled, jumping fences as he ran eastbound from the location. Escalon Police, Ripon Police Department units and the San Joaquin County Sheriff were all involved in the pursuit.
After nearly an hour of searching the area, officers were unable to locate the man.
Officer Poortinga located the loaded Glock .40 caliber handgun in the pickup between the driver’s seat and center console. In addition to the handgun, Borges said officers found cash, scales and packaging material consistent with drug sales, along with an ounce of crystal meth, over two ounces of marijuana and some concentrated cannabis, commonly known as hash. An open container of alcohol was found in the vehicle as well.
Borges said the investigation is continuing and police remain on the lookout for the subject.