Car Chase Ends With Arrest

Los Banos Talk

On April 21, 2021, at approximately 1:40 p.m., Officer Jack Hostetler, relatively new to the department with less than one year on, was on patrol in the area of Louie Avenue and Friguglietti Avenue, when he allegedly saw a gray Nissan Altima driving without a front license plate or rear registration tabs. According to a Los Banos Police Department Facebook post, Officer Hostetler tried to stop the vehicle using his emergency lights and siren, but the driver, 22-year-old Irwin Bryan Mercado of Los Banos, failed to yield and sped away in what became a 20 minute vehicle pursuit.

According to commander Jason Heddin, acting police chief of Los Banos PD, officer Hostetler initiated the pursuit, and continued to pursue Mercado all the way to the city of Newman, along with a few other LBPD officers and a supervisor until they terminated the pursuit at the Newman City limit. The driver abandoned the vehicle and continued to flee on foot. Newman City police conducted a yard to yard officer search for the suspect, who was eventually tracked down by a Newman police K-9, and found hiding in the backyard of a residential apartment complex in the 1200 Block of Blue Bonnet Drive.

No injuries or damage were reported as a result of the vehicle pursuit. Mercado was booked into the Los Banos Police Department without bail, charged with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, parole violation, and driving without a valid license.

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