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December 5, 2023

4 arrested, gun recovered in Highway 1 chase

Four men were arrested early Tuesday morning following a high-speed car chase that started in Watsonville.

California Highway Patrol officer Sam Courtney said the ordeal began when a CHP officer tried to pull over a black 2017 Hyundai Tucson on southbound Highway 1 north of Buena Vista Drive around 1:50am. When CHP officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the Hyundai, the driver failed to yield to lights and sirens and a pursuit ensued. 

The Hyundai evaded in a “reckless manner,” traveling at speeds over 100 mph and swerving in and out of all lanes, Courtney said. The Hyundai then turned around and merged onto northbound Highway 1 where other CHP officers were positioned further north. They successfully deployed a spike strip on the Hyundai several miles north in Capitola. With two flat front tires the Hyundai came to a stop on the 41st Avenue onramp to northbound Highway 1. 

That’s when all four occupants fled on foot into the planter area of the onramp. All four occupants were arrested by CHP personnel at the scene. Officers also found a Ruger .40 caliber handgun on the path the occupants were fleeing, according to Courtney. 

Josue Fernando Valdez Amezcua, 28, Lester Jonatan Villatoro, 32, and Hector Alexander Garcia Hernandez, 24—all of Oakland—and Edward Jimenez, 30, of San Francisco were arrested on numerous charges.

The Hyundai was reported stolen to the Oakland Police Department on April 11.

Staff Report
Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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