Two Suspects Arrested After Vehicle Pursuit Through Several Cities
Photo: confiscated guns and cash
On noon, November 5, 2020, an American Canyon Police Officer observed a silver Nissan sedan using the shoulder of State Route 29 to travel southbound then run a red light. When the officer signaled for a traffic stop, the driver accelerated. A second ACPD unit attempted to stop the vehicle but was also ignored and a pursuit followed.
The pursuit traveled through Vallejo where Vallejo Police briefly joined the chase but stopped once it reached the City of Benicia where California Highway Patrol Air Operations joined.
Benicia Police took over allowing ACPD units to discontinue pursing. The driver of the Nissan briefly drove towards oncoming traffic on an interstate before exiting the vehicle near Industrial Park near I-680 and Bayshore Road in Benicia.
At this point CHP Air Ops, Benicia PD, and American Canyon PD set up a perimeter to look for the suspects. Benicia K9 Police Officer “Apollo” and his partner Officer Francis found the two suspects hiding in the brush. The driver was identified as 21-year old Joseph Charles Willis of San Leandro. The passenger was identified as 21-year old Jalen Malik Smith of Bay point.
During the pursuit, officers observed one of the suspects throw out a large plastic grocery bag from the vehicle. Officers were able to retrieve the bag and inside found two Glock semi-auto handguns and over $180,000 in cash.
The suspects were placed in the custody of ACPD officers for booking in Napa County. Willis, who is already on probation out of Alameda County for burglary and Post Release Community Supervision out of Solano County for a previous vehicle pursuit was booked for felony charges related to the pursuit and driving the wrong way on the freeway in order to avoid capture.
He could also be charged with criminal conspiracy and possession of a firearm by an ex-felon. His
bail was set at $750,000.
Smith, who is believed to have used his smart phone to navigate Willis during the pursuit, had outstanding warrants including a felony warrant for burglary and a misdemeanor warrant for possession of burglary tools. He was booked for his outstanding warrants in addition to new charges of criminal conspiracy and the chase. His bail was set at $500,000.