DUI suspect leads police on pursuit
Police arrested a Porterville man wanted on suspicion of DUI after he led them on a chase through Porterville Friday night.
The Porterville Police Department reports that just before 7 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of West Kanai Avenue regarding a suicidal person, identified as 31-year-old Jessie Fausto.
Fausto reportedly told his family that he was going to get a gun and shoot himself.
Officers later located Fausto driving a pickup truck in the area.
According to the PPD, officers tried to pull him over after he ran a stop sign but Fausto refused to stop and a pursuit ensued.
Officer Dominic Barteau said police tried to stop the pickup truck several times using spike strips, but Fausto was able to avoid the spikes and at one point drove his truck toward an officer who was trying to deploy a set of the tire shredders, police report.
“Initially, the pursuit was between 20 and 30 mph. Officers tried to use the tire deflation device and that’s when he sped up and started driving erratically,” Barteau said, noting that there were moments when Fausto accelerated to very high speeds and drove onto oncoming traffic.
As a precaution, the on-duty watch commander told officers to end the pursuit, Barteau said.
At one point during the chase, officers lost view of Fausto but detectives in an unmarked police car were able to locate him, the PPD reports.
While following Fausto, detectives saw him abandon is truck in the area of Kanai Avenue and Hawaii Street and run toward an occupied car, pull the female driver out of the car, and speed away, the PPD reports.
A second pursuit ensued until Fausto ran from the car in the 300 block of West Kanai Avenue. He was ultimately taken into custody after being bitten by a police dog.
Police later determined that the victim of the car-jacking was Fausto’s girlfriend.
Fausto was treated at Sierra View District Hospital for the dog bites he suffered during his arrest. The woman victim was not injured.
Fausto was booked at the Tulare County Main Jail on suspicion of felony evading in a motor vehicle, driving under the influence of narcotics, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, and resisting arrest.
As of Monday, Fausto was being held in lieu of $35,000.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.