Capitola police pursuit leads to search in Scotts Valley
by Joe Shreve
Dec 19, 2013 | 1650 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Scotts Valley neighborhoods in the vicinity of Glen Canyon Road and Sunridge Drive found themselves as the scene of a manhunt in the early hours of Monday, Dec. 16, when a man suspected of attempted assault of a Capitola police officer led law enforcement on a vehicle chase along highways 1 and 17, before disappearing on foot into the woods.

According to Sgt. Mark Gonzalez of the Capitola Police Department, the suspect — described as a Caucasian or light-skinned Hispanic male between the ages of 25 and 35 — attempted to ram his vehicle into a CPD officer who was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the vicinity of the Trader Joe's on Clares Street in Capitola at about 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

A brief pursuit of the suspect's vehicle, a green Ford Explorer, was quickly called off, Gonzalez said, due to the high amount of holiday traffic in the vicinity of the Capitola Mall.

At approximately 12 a.m. Monday morning, the same Explorer was seen on 41st Avenue and officers resumed their pursuit.

Gonzalez said that the suspect was pursued northbound along Highway 1 and Highway 17 and, at times, the suspect drove northbound along the shoulder in the southbound lanes of both freeways.

He said that the suspect stopped the Explorer on Highway 17, just north of the Mount Hermon Road exit, abandoned his vehicle, jumped the fence and ran down a gully into a creek.

Capitola police, along with officers from the California Highway Patrol, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, and Scotts Valley Police Department, established a perimeter around the area, but the K-9 units lost the trail after a hour of searching, Gonzalez said.

While the suspect remained at large as of Monday evening, Gonzalez said that a search of the abandoned vehicle had yielded clues as to the suspect's identity — as well as evidence of narcotics.

Anyone with information should call the Capitola Police Department's tip line at 475-2791.

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