OCEANO – Santa Maria police arrested a murder suspect Sunday morning after the vehicle he was spotted in allegedly led officers on a pursuit that lasted almost 30 minutes and went for more than 25 miles.
Just after 9:30 a.m. on June 23, officers located a vehicle in northern Santa Maria that was believed to be occupied by Oceano resident Joseph Munoz, who was wanted for questioning in a murder that occurred Friday, June 21, on 19th Street in Oceano, according to police.
When officers attempted to stop the vehicle, it fled the area, leading police on a 28-mile pursuit through city streets, onto Highway 101 and into the neighboring city of Guadalupe, where the car eventually pulled over in a residential neighborhood. The chase went for 28 miles, police said.
Munoz, 35, was arrested at the scene for violating his AB 109 parole and taken into custody by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. No charges have been filed against him at this time in connection with Friday’s murder, although he’s being held at County Jail without bail.
The Sheriff’s Office has also yet to release much information about the murder, including the victim’s name, but a spokesman has said deputies were called to the 1300 block of 19th Street for a report of a fight. When they arrived at the scene, they found a male victim who had sustained life-threatening injuries. The victim was transported to Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, where he later died.
Also arrested on Sunday were Santa Maria resident Cassandra Deleon, 24, who was driving the car during the police pursuit, and Stacy Araujo, 42, also of Santa Maria. Both women were taken into custody by the Sheriff’s Office on unspecified charges, police said.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office plans to file felony evading charges against Deleon.
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