Citizen Helps Police In His Capture
WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville Police Department arrested 29-year-old Damian Baxter after they discovered that he was driving a stolen vehicle out of Gilroy. Baxter was arrested for possession of stolen property, felony evading, hit and run that caused injury, and possession of a controlled substance.
On Tuesday May 28, at 8:30 pm, patrol officers with the Watsonville Police located a Honda Accord that had been reported stolen out of the city of Gilroy in the parking lot of the Economy Inn on Auto Center Drive. After staking out the vehicle for a short time police noticed that the stolen Honda was leaving the parking lot.
When the Officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, Baxter, with a woman passenger, sped away. A pursuit ensued as the officers tried following him throughout the city streets. Baxter started driving erratically at a high rate of speed, causing the officers to call off the pursuit due to public safety concerns.
Baxter later crashed the vehicle into another car near the 300 block of East Lake Street. He reportedly left the vehicle and fled the scene on foot. Responding officers quickly set up a perimeter around the area as Baxter tried to evade capture.
Officers received help from a citizen who lives in the area. He told an officer that there was a man hiding in the bushes and asking for help. They found Baxter hiding in a garage near the scene of the crash. He was taken into custody with the help of “Ranger”, the Watsonville Police Department’s K-9 unit.
Baxter was taken to a local trauma center for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash. His female companion sustained minor injuries, as did the driver of the other vehicle. Baxter was also found to be in possession of heroin.
Baxter made the news five years ago in a very similar incident. According to the Register Pajaronian, Baxter had stolen a green 1997 Acura, and led Monterey Sheriff’s deputies on a chase through Watsonville. He crashed that car into another, leaving a woman with minor injuries. A citizen, who the report says aspired to be in law enforcement, followed Baxter on foot as he tried to hide, and tackled him in the parking lot of the Crossroads shopping center. In addition to the deputies, Watsonville Police, CHP, Watsonville Fire, and emergency medical personnel responded to the scene. Baxter was captured and arrested on December 13, 2010, and charged with vehicle theft, evading resulting in injury, hit and run resulting in injury, resisting arrest, and parole violations.
Read More: Register Pajaronian – High-speed chase ends with crash in Watsonville (2010)