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Galt officers pull teen from burning vehicle

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Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2010 12:00 am

Two Galt police officers pulled a teenager from her burning vehicle seconds before it exploded into a fireball Wednesday morning.

The 18-year-old woman did not suffer serious injuries, though she initially lost consciousness after crashing into a ditch while fleeing from police. The sport utility vehicle was destroyed in the fire, which filled the passenger compartment "less than a minute" after the rescue, said Galt Police Sgt. Ed Arlt.

"While I was leaning in across the passenger seat grabbing her arms, looking toward the driver's window, there were flames all over the car," said Arlt, who in 28 years with the department had never encountered such a scene.

Police Chief Loren Cattolico credited Arlt and Officer Steve Denier with saving the woman's life. Police did not release her name.

The matter started shortly before 11 a.m., when police were called to the 800 block of Lake Canyon Avenue, where a mother and daughter were physically fighting, said Lt. Brian Vizzusi.

The 18-year-old woman fled when Denier arrived at the scene east of Highway 99, south of Twin Cities Road. She crashed into her mother's home, then drove south on Carillion Boulevard.

Two miles away, she reached the road's end at Simmerhorn Road, where the vehicle crashed into a deep ditch filled with dry weeds. The airbags deployed and she lost consciousness.

Pursuing officers arrived moments later.

"When we got out of our cars and started going toward the car it had already started smoking, because weeds go that fast," Arlt said, explaining that the catalytic converter gets very hot and can set dry grass on fire.

The doors were locked and the young woman was still unconscious.

Arlt used his department-issued baton to break the passenger window, then reached in, unlocked the door and opened it.

Both officers began pulling the overweight woman from the vehicle, Vizzusi said.

She regained consciousness in the process and did not resist officers, Arlt said.

The woman was taken to Kaiser Hospital in Sacramento for medical treatment, but did not seem to have serious injuries.

Vizzusi said no criminal charges were expected.

Contact reporter Layla Bohm at layla@lodinews.com.

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24 comments:

  • posted at 4:15 am on Fri, Jun 25, 2010.

    Posts:

    I think a lot of you have a fear of overweight people.. The dirty names they are called, the dirty looks they get everyday.. Boy it takes me back to grade school.. I wonder if people really do grow-up..Some of these comments are just horrible. I am embarrased for you.. The amazing thing is that you do know better... Just think of how many people you hurt with your fat remarks...

     
  • posted at 7:47 pm on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    I wonder if being overweight would have been mentioned in the police report if it had been a man instead of a woman. Most Americans are overweight.

     
  • posted at 3:15 pm on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    @ class of 007.I meant that girls are much more emotional at 17 or 18 years old not trying to steriotype anyone.Boys/ men shake off alot of stuff women/ girls can't.Trust me I lost my Neice, I know I NEVER EVER let my kids out of the house when they were mad after that.Nothing worse than losing a child especially after an arguement.

     
  • posted at 12:50 pm on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Well, at least the headline didn't read, "Galt officers pull fat teen from burning vehicle." Anyway, we all get it, right? It's much easier to pull a 100 lb victim from an automobile than it would be to pull a 250 lb victim out, of course. Sad situation with the chaotic family, to say the very least. Some (a whole lot of) counseling might be in order here.

     
  • posted at 11:48 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Opie: Good, stay home. I grew up in Woodbridge and thought the young Lodi cops were the same...the seasoned cops were the better, but they knew better. Criminals are still criminals.Layla: Had your hearline been about the fat girl...let them then be offended. I thought you showed sensitivity to the situation.

     
  • posted at 11:34 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    oplease, are you serious when you say "More power to the woman" without the police to pull her fat out of the fire, what power are you suggesting, perhaps the power of Jenny Craig.

     
  • posted at 10:35 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    There is a reason for people trying to avoid GALT Police.. They are abusive, unfair & badge heavy.. They take advantage of people whom pay their generous salaries.. I would Never live in Galt with those type of people in charge of the law...More power to the 18 year old woman...

     
  • posted at 9:34 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Thanks for the clarification, Layla. I saw exactly why you wrote what you did i.e., put things into perspective and that this particular fact, did, indeed, make the officers job more difficult. It's too bad people seem to lose the ability to read and take things in context...they're too busy being offended.

     
  • posted at 7:20 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    ATTA BOY!!!! Stevie D!!!!!!!!!

     
  • posted at 7:19 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Thanks for the comments on the mention of weight; I also had someone call me to say she thought it was offensive. I didn't include the girl's actual weight (which was in the press release police sent out). I meant it to put the scene into perspective -- how it would be a little more complicated than pulling an 80-pound person out of the vehicle.Thanks for pointing out that it could be offensive. I hadn't realized that it could be taken that way. Constructive feedback is always welcomed.

     
  • posted at 6:47 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    @blossom - I don't think its fair to say (especially girls) do stupid things when they're mad. thats a huge generaliztion. also- maybe things like this will stop bringing on prosecution because we (the state) don't have enough money to charge and hold people that do this stuff

     
  • posted at 6:38 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Why does weight come into play at all. Oh, just to show how strong the Policemen where? "Nope....its a built in Workers Comp claim thats automatically documented. Do we know if the giant shoe horn she uses was rescued too? I also wonder if the girl has insurance to pay for the fire call?Seriously....good job to the cops & I'm glad the girl (stupid move & all) is OK.

     
  • posted at 6:37 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    No criminal charges??? Another example of our worthless judicial system.

     
  • posted at 6:14 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    IMy Neice was killed on highway 99 (hit by a car)about 10 years ago. PLEASE DON"T LET YOUR KIDS LEAVE WHEN THEY ARE MAD OR UPSET!!The fight is NOt worth someones life!This Mom will is lucky she will be able to see her beautiful Daughter again!Kids ( especially Girls ) do really stupid things when they are upset!!

     
  • posted at 5:49 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    1) she was running from police. Shouldnt she be charged for that?2) she crashed into her mothers home. Shouldnt she be charged for that?3) she was driving recklessly. Shouldnt she be charged for that?4) I disagree with having to say she was overweight. Do we see any articles stating "police rescued a skinny person" or " police rescued a lady with humongous boobs" or " police rescued a person who face was deformed". Why does weight come into play at all. Oh, just to show how strong the Policemen where?

     
  • posted at 5:34 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Good job GPD officers for saving that girls life! Not sure what's better, running from the police and your car getting destroyed, or getting charged for evading police..either way the girl got what she deserved for being stupid and evading the police

     
  • posted at 5:05 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    So is being called overweight for all those who DO know her name supposed to be her punishment?I don't agree with no charges being filed, what if she had hit an oncomming car?

     
  • posted at 4:18 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Now, who says that pooreastside has a sense of humor? lol

     
  • posted at 4:14 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    @ pooreastside....chill, I was being funny. Your point is noted...oh and the aritcle reads no charges to be expected so that might be why some posters feel she got off easy. Okay???

     
  • posted at 4:10 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Who says she won't get in trouble????? I think getting her medical attention is formost on any good officer's mind. Forget the mention of weight. If she's fat, she's fat. What harm in mentioning it? No worse than mention elderly man or woman. You are what you are and no sense being so sensitive.

     
  • posted at 3:23 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Now, who says Ms. Bohm has no sense of humor? lolGlad the fire didn't spread to destroy other nearby properties.

     
  • posted at 3:15 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    Wow! That should send a great message to the felon's that maybe they should go to Galt. You won't get in trouble there.Does Barney Fife work for the department?Kudo's for rescuing the girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • posted at 3:06 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    reads...officers began pulling the overweight woman from the vehicle....geez, as if physically fighting with your mom in the front yard, crashing into her home, evading police, crashing into a ditch and being trapped in your car while engulfed with flames isn't bad enough...you have to mention her weight?? lol

     
  • posted at 2:47 am on Thu, Jun 24, 2010.

    Posts:

    The 18-year-old woman did not suffer serious injuries, though she initially lost consciousness after crashing into a ditch while fleeing from police.Felony eluding was a Crime under California law the last time I checked!Who says WOMEN don't get treated differently then men?

     

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