Butte County man leads chase, causes hit-and-run collision in stolen truck: Police
BOOKING PHOTO: Chico PD
A Butte County man has been arrested after allegedly leading police on a pursuit in a stolen truck and causing a hit-and-run collision, all after having consumed meth (per his own admission).
Just before 1 PM on Tuesday, January 14, Home Depot staff contacted Chico PD about a person in their store — identified as 49-year-old Robert Anthony Garcia Jr. — whom they were aware had a warrant out for his arrest.
Employees watched him leave the store in a blue 2002 GMC truck, which turned out to have been reported stolen out of Oroville.
Around 1:15, an officer spotted the Garcia driving the truck northbound on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and attempted a high-risk traffic stop. Garcia reportedly then began driving so erratically that officers chose not to continue the pursuit out of concern for public safety.
Just before 1:30, Garcia was again spotted by another officer, having somehow sustained a flat tire and heavy front end damage, on northbound Esplanade near Cohasset Road.
Garcia again began driving erratically once he realized he’d been found, but the truck wasn’t up to it this time and stalled out in the middle of the East Avenue and Esplanade intersection. Garcia jumped out of the truck and tried to flee on foot, but surrendered to police in front of the Little Caesar’s Pizza on East Avenue.
After detaining him, officers learned that the damage to the vehicle had allegedly been the result of Garcia blowing a stop sign and broadsiding a Toyota 4-runner. Fortunately, the two occupants hadn’t been injured.
Garcia, who was already on parole for assault with a deadly weapon and had a felony arrest warrant to his name, also admitted to having consumed a quarter-ounce of meth earlier that day.
He is now housed at the Butte County Jail on suspicion of evading a peace officer, possession of a stolen vehicle, hit and run, and resisting arrest.