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Suspect Remains Jailed In Cop Case
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Officers from the Escalon Police Department took a Manteca man into custody on his release from the San Joaquin County Hospital on Wednesday night, Sept. 15.

About 9:15 p.m., an Escalon officer responded to the county hospital to take Joshua Watkins, 25, into custody.

Watkins was originally contacted by Officer Robert Lackey about 2:20 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 following multiple calls to police regarding a reckless driver in the area of First Street and Emperor Court in Escalon. Officer Lackey found the suspected reckless driver parked in the area of Brennan and California and during the contact, Watkins refused to comply with the officer's requests and fought with Officer Lackey as he attempted to detain him. During the struggle, Officer Lackey sustained an injury that required him to be transported to Oak Valley Hospital.

Watkins fled the scene on foot and was apprehended about 6 a.m. in an orchard near Highway 120 and Jack Tone Road following a three-and-a-half hour search. Watkins was taken by ambulance to San Joaquin County Hospital for treatment of injuries received while eluding officers from the Escalon Police Department, San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department, Manteca Police Department, and Ripon Police Department. While fleeing officers, Watkins fell into an irrigation canal and also claimed to have been struck by a passing motorist.

Watkins was released by hospital staff on Wednesday evening and was turned over to the Escalon Police Department. He was then taken to the San Joaquin County Jail where he was booked for several offenses including felony counts of resisting arrest and causing injury to a police officer, battery against a police officer and attempted vehicle theft as well as misdemeanor driving under the influence.

Watkins was initially being held at the county jail in lieu of $232,620 bail but following arraignment it was reduced to $149,000. He was still in jail at press time.