Photo: Jerry Matthews
UNION CITY – A man attempting to flee police officers ran across eight lanes of freeway traffic, dodging cars during the evening rush hour on February 9, before he was safely apprehended and transported to county jail.
The suspect had earlier evaded police at the Union Landing Shopping Center, located at the intersection of Alvarado-Niles Road and Dyer Street, adjacent to Interstate 880.
He attracted attention by illegally parking a U-Haul truck diagonally across a parking spot reserved for handicapped persons in front of Lucky’s Supermarket.
The motor was running but there was no driver. Patrol officers questioned a woman holding an infant who was sitting in the passenger seat.
While she was speaking with the patrol officers, a police dispatcher advised the officers that the truck was reported stolen. The woman identified the absent driver as Jerry Matthews, a 36-year-old resident of San Jose.
The officers determined that Matthews had an outstanding arrest warrant and several prior arrests. A short time later witnesses saw Matthews running away from the supermarket and provided police with his description.
Officers searched for Matthews inside nearby stores without success. They also sought assistance from private security officers employed by the shopping center—providing them with a photo and description of Matthews.
About 20 minutes later, a security guard notified police that he was following Matthews walking through the shopping center parking lot. The security guard remained on the phone with an officer, helping coordinate additional police response.
Several more officers and detectives were dispatched to the shopping center and that’s when Matthews darted across the freeway, where he was arrested.
Matthews is charged with stealing a vehicle, possessing a stolen vehicle, and obstructing a police officer. He’s being held at Santa Rita Jail, with bail set at $30,000. His arraignment is scheduled for February 13 at the Fremont Hall of Justice.