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Petaluma man suspected of evading police in stolen vehicle

Published: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 8:53 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 8:53 a.m.

A Petaluma man who tried to run from authorities after they pulled him off the freeway in Rohnert Park late Thursday night was ultimately arrested on a host of charges, including suspected evasion and auto theft, the CHP said.

Even as suspect David Ochoa, 26, was being questioned about the ownership of the pickup he was driving, another man was combing the parking lot of the nearby casino trying to find the truck he had arrived in, the CHP said.

The case unfolded when a patrol officer observed what appeared to be an erratic driver leaving the Graton Rancheria Casino around 10:35 p.m., authorities said.

He conducted an enforcement stop on the truck after it traveled onto southbound Highway 101 and then off at Rohnert Park Expressway, the CHP said.

But instead of surrendering, the driver got out and started to run, bumping into and bouncing off the back of a Rohnert Park patrol car that had just arrived, the CHP said. Officers soon caught up with Ochoa and detained him.

Authorities called the truck’s registered owner, a woman, and she said her boyfriend had the vehicle at the casino. With Casino security personnel, officers found the properly authorized driver looking for the truck, which apparently had been stolen, the CHP said.

Ochoa, meanwhile, appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was jailed for suspected evasion, auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of methamphetamine and driving under the influence of drugs.

He remained at the Sonoma County Jail on Friday, with bail of $10,000, jail personnel said.

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