WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville Police Department arrested Michael Kenneth Manning, 19, of Watsonville after he led them on a high-speed chase through the streets of Watsonville.
Agent Bryan Fuentez, with the Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Task Force, was working a vehicle theft investigation when he spotted a stolen white 1991 Toyota Camry parked at the Days Inn Hotel. He decided to stakeout the vehicle. At 11 a.m. he noticed four subjects leave the hotel. One subject got into the stolen vehicle while the other three subjects got into another silver Toyota Camry and headed into town.
When officers attempted to stop the stolen vehicle, the driver refused to stop and began driving though the streets of Watsonville at a high-rate of speed, trying to evade police. When he attempted a left turn onto Riverside Drive, the vehicle was unable to make that left turn and crashed into a guardrail at the corner. As officers were chasing the vehicle, the crash caused a patrol car to hit the suspect’s vehicle from behind. Manning fled the crash scene on foot but was caught a few feet away.
Manning was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County jail and charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, resisting arrest, felony evading, participation in a criminal street gang and a probation violation. His bail has been set at $30,000.00 dollars.
“Yes, at that rate of speed and that time of day someone could have gotten seriously hurt,” Sergeant Morgan Chappell of the Watsonville Police Department said.
This is still an active investigation and the Watsonville Police Department is asking anyone with information to call their crime tip line at 831-728-3544 or their Investigations Bureau at 831-768-3352.
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