A Hollister Police officer is recovering from injuries suffered during an altercation with a fleeing, violent suspect just east of the city’s downtown Aug. 5, according to authorities. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of assaulting the officer, as well as multiple other offenses.
About 1:55am Aug. 5, Hollister Police Officer Miguel Masso was patrolling the downtown area when he tried to stop a car for a vehicle code violation, police said. The driver—later identified as Daniel Perez, 20, of Hollister—refused to stop and continued to a long private driveway on the 200 block of Sally Street.
The driver proceeded to the rear of the residential property and away from the public street, according to police. When the vehicle stopped near the home, the driver exited and ran westbound through the yard and toward a rear fence.
As Perez ran from the vehicle, he appeared to be holding an item or trying to conceal something in his waistband area, police said.
Masso chased Perez on foot and caught him while the suspect was trying to jump over a fence. Perez and Masso fell onto the other side of the fence, near the railroad tracks between First and Third streets, according to police. Perez resisted arrest and struck at Masso.
The suspect continued to resist, placing his hands under his body while Masso tried to handcuff him, according to police. Perez refused repeated commands to stop resisting. After a short struggle, Masso was able to gain control of Perez’ hands and cuff the suspect.
Officers searched the area where the struggle occurred, and found a loaded firearm that Perez allegedly dropped during or just prior to the altercation.
Further investigation revealed Perez was in possession of drug paraphernalia, and had been driving while impaired, police said.
Perez was also wanted for an Aug. 2 incident in which he was identified as the driver of a stolen vehicle, according to police. In that case, Perez allegedly abandoned the stolen vehicle on Knight Lane as officers attempted to stop him. He got away on foot, but in the vehicle police found ammunition that matched the caliber of the firearm recovered Aug. 5.
Perez was transported to a nearby hospital for medical clearance following the Aug. 5 arrest. He was uncooperative at the hospital, and was later transported to San Benito County Jail. He was booked on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, driving under the influence, carrying a loaded firearm in public, carrying a concealed weapon, felon in possession of a loaded firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Perez was also booked for an arrest warrant out of Santa Clara County, and on suspicion of vehicle theft in relation to the Aug. 2 incident, police said.
Masso was treated at Hazel Hawkins Hospital for injuries suffered during the arrest. He has been released, but he is expected to be recovering off duty for “several more days,” Hollister Police Sgt. Don Pershall said. The sergeant declined to offer more information about the nature of Masso’s injuries.
Anyone with information about these incidents can call Hollister Police Officer Miguel Masso at 831-636-4330. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at 800-78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.