Santa Paula Times

SPPD: Known gang member arrested for allegedly leading police on pursuit

April 06, 2016
Santa Paula News

Police arrested a Santa Paula man who allegedly led them on a short but wild pursuit Sunday evening in connection with a stolen vehicle report, a known gang member who has had numerous contacts with police in the past.

According to Santa Paula Police Sgt. Jeremy Watson, on April 3 at approximately noon SPPD Dispatch received an “Attempt to Locate” request from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

The VCSD was trying to locate a silver, 2002 VW Golf that had been reported taken without permission of the owner by Matthew Duenas, 28, of Santa Paula.

According to Watson, “At approximately 7:28 p.m. a SPPD Officer located a vehicle matching the description driving south on Peck Road from Telegraph Road.” 

When the officer confirmed the vehicle was the stolen vehicle, “he attempted to catch up to it.”

The driver, said Watson, “Appeared to realize the officer was coming and began to speed away, entering the 126 freeway eastbound from Peck Road. The officer turned on his emergency lights and initiated a pursuit.”

During the pursuit Duenas reached speeds of 75 miles per hour on the highway and 45 miles per hour on city streets where the suspect “ran red lights, stops signs and drove on the wrong side of the road in an attempt to evade officers.”

Watson said “The driver drove the vehicle into the 100 block of East Ventura Street which comes to a dead-end with multiple alleyways and apartment buildings…the driver stopped the vehicle in an alleyway and he and the passenger exited.”

The passenger was immediately apprehended without incident but the driver fled on foot; he was apprehended a short distance away.

“No injuries were sustained by officers or the suspects and no property was damaged,” during the pursuit.

During the investigation, Watson noted, it was determined that the passenger, also a resident of Santa Paula, was not involved in the taking of the vehicle and was unaware that the vehicle was stolen. He was later released without charge.

Duenas was transported to Ventura County Main Jail in Ventura where his bail was set at $115,000. He was charged with suspicion of theft or unlawful taking of a vehicle, evading a peace officer, reckless driving, possession of a vehicle by theft, possession of a smoking device, resisting or obstructing a peace officer, red light and stop sign violations and failure to drive on the right side of the roadway.

Duenas according to SPPD Sgt. Cody Madison has had contact with the SPPD in the past.

According to past Santa Paula Times and court records Duenas has been arrested numerous times, the including July 2015.

At that time Duenas was wanted on five active warrants and when police spotted Duenas he led SPPD Officers on a foot pursuit. The chase included Duenas jumping from rooftop to rooftop before hiding in a blue recycling bin where officers found him after a citizen alerted the SPPD.