Driver tries to evade police

When Ridgecrest Police Officer Bill Groves saw a blue sedan fail to stop at a posted stop sign, he attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the sedan kept on going. It was Aug. 17, just before midnight, in the 100 block of South Warner Street.

The sedan’s driver reportedly turned onto West Ridgecrest Boulevard, then stopped in the middle of the roadway at the intersection of West Ridgecrest and Balsam Street.

The driver apparently waited until Officer Groves began walking up to contact him, then the driver hit the gas and fled northbound on North Balsam Street. During the pursuit, the driver reportedly crashed into a curb, causing both right-side tires to explode. The vehicle eventually stopped in the 100 block of West Haloid Avenue. The driver, later identified as Anthony Vasquez, 40, of Ridge-crest, got out of the sedan.

According to the police press release, Vasquez “took a fighting stance and challenged officers to fight.”

Ridgecrest Police Department’s canine “Laky” was deployed and reportedly engaged the resistive Vasquez. After a brief struggle, the suspect was handcuffed and arrested. Investigation revealed that the suspect was under the influence of alcohol. He was transported to the Kern County Jail in Ridgecrest and booked on charges of Felony Evading in Vehicle, Driving Under the Influence, and Resisting, Obstructing and Delaying a Peace Officer.

Story First Published: 2013-08-28