Suspected carjacking prompts chase into county

Highway 156 is shown from a hillside.

A chase prompted by a suspected carjacking in Santa Nella early Monday morning ended in San Benito County and with an arrest, according to the local sheriff’s office.
According to the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, a local deputy was asked to intervene at about 12:45 a.m. Monday. The pursuit ended with the suspect vehicle crashing into a guardrail on Highway 156, and deputies arrested the 21-year-old driver.
According to the sheriff’s statement:
At 12:45 a.m. Monday, San Benito County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Leist was asked to assist a California Highway Patrol officer stop a car involved in a carjacking in Santa Nella of Merced County. The suspect vehicle had just entered into San Benito County on Highway 156. Leist and the CHP officer tried to stop the car, and a vehicle pursuit ensued.
The chase ended on Merill Road, but authorities alleged the suspect threw a handgun out of the vehicle near the intersection of San Felipe Road. The suspect, Joseph Salazar, crashed into a guardrail on Highway 156 near Searle Road. The car ended up coming to a stop on Merill Road. Salazar then fled on foot and was captured by Sgt. Adam Lobdell of the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office later located the suspected firearm at the location it was thrown from the car, and it was loaded. Salazar and the handgun were turned over to CHP officers from Merced County.

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