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Sheriff's Office

Previously Deported Illegal from Mexico Arrested Once Again Following a Wrong Way Police Chase on Interstate 10
 
Posted: 7/2/2014 12:00 AM
 
On Sunday June 29th, 2014 at 1:41 a.m. a Pinal County Sheriff’s K-9 Deputy was on routine patrol when he noticed a black 2007 Pontiac, four door sedan, with only one head light, traveling westbound, in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10, at the Florence Boulevard exit in the city limits of Casa Grande.

The deputy immediately activated his law enforcement red and blue emergency lights and began pursuing the vehicle while attempting to warn eastbound traffic of the oncoming danger. The deputy was able to call for assistance from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Gila River Police Department.

The Pontiac continued to actively flee from the deputy, and all other law enforcement agencies responding to assist. During the pursuit speeds fluctuated between 35 and 75 miles per hour. During the pursuit the Pontiac drove into the westbound lanes of travel for a short distance before again crossing back over into the eastbound lanes.

During the pursuit, law enforcement were able to successfully deploy a tire deflation device, deflating the Pontiac’s front tires. However the Pontiac continued to flee and attempted to ram law enforcement vehicles.

The Pontiac, was still driving the wrong way when it exited the eastbound Casa Blanca on ramp to Interstate 10. The Pontiac then traveled westbound on Bapchule Road and eventually stopped in the yard of a residence in the 900 block of Snake Hill Road, on the Gila River Reservation. The suspect immediately fled the vehicle on foot. The deputy noticed the passenger seat of the vehicle was on fire and the vehicle immediately became fully engulfed with fire.

The deputy and an officer from the Gila River Police Department began pursuing the suspect on foot as he broke into a residence.

The occupants of the home were evacuated as the suspect hid inside the home. Once all occupants were evacuated a search of the residence revealed the suspect was hiding in the bathroom. The suspect refused all commands from officers on scene. He was then taken into custody by Pinal County Sheriff’s Canine “Aza”. After being taken into custody, the suspect gave officers a false name. He was taken to the Gila River River Police Department where he was processed for Driving under the Influence of a Drug.

He was then taken into custody by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office who transported him to the United States Border Patrol office in Casa Grande, where he was positively identified as Juan Lopez-Medina (age 42 from Mexico).

After interviewing Juan he told a deputy he was fleeing from Cartel members that were trying to harm him, he drove in the opposing lane of Interstate 10 to avoid being captured by them. He claimed he did not realize the red and blue emergency lights pursuing him were law enforcement officers.

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, "This dangerous illegal was positively identified as Juan Lopez-Medina (age 42 from Mexico). It was confirmed that Juan is in the county illegally and has been deported to Mexico on multiple occasions and has multiple felony convictions in Arizona and California. Some of the felony charges include Auto Theft, Deportation, Possession of Stolen Property, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Illegal Re-Entry, Firearm in a Public Place, Burglary, and transporting a controlled substance. Juan was arrested and booked into the Pinal County Jail for Aggravated Assault, Unlawful Flight from pursuing Law Enforcement vehicle, and Endangerment. When justice is served and Juan is turned over to ICE, I'm sure President Obama will ensure that he's either returned to Mexico for yet another do-over, or released into our communities and live handsomely on the U.S. Tax dollar."
Public Information Officer

Tim Gaffney
520.705.8124
pcsopio@pinalcountyaz.gov



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