Lodi police say they have chased down and arrested a man who has been on the run for more than two weeks after he was suspected of severely damaged three Lodi police cars.
On Tuesday, Lodi police received a tip from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department that Emiliano Rivera, 38, was hiding at a friend’s house on the 5400 block of Morse Road in the outskirts of Lodi, Lodi Police Detective Larry Fluty said.
Lodi police detectives, along with Sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Marshals Services, set up a perimeter around the home around 4 p.m. When Rivera left the house and started walking down Morse Road, authorities swooped in.
At that point, Fluty said, Rivera took off, running through nearby grape vineyards with Lodi Police Detectives Carlos Fuentes, Rick Garcia and Fluty close behind.
Fuentes eventually spotted Rivera hiding in a large bush, and authorities took him into custody at gunpoint, Fluty said.
Rivera has been wanted since May 25, when he was suspected of ramming into a police car and attempting to destroy three others while trying to evade authorities, Lodi police said.
On that day, officers were checking a residence on Flora Street when they noticed a white Chevy Avalanche with expired tags parked outside a home with a suspected connection to gang activity, police said.
Officers tried to talk to Rivera, who was sitting in the car, but he sped away toward Lawrence Avenue and Main Street, police said. Rivera stopped in the middle of the road and then went into reverse, accelerating into the officers’ car and destroying it, police said.
As officers in three patrol cars arrived to provide backup, Rivera attempted to ram into the oncoming cars, police said.
The backup officers tried to evade Rivera by driving onto the curb, causing flat tires to two of the patrol cars. The pursuit was called off as the suspect sped south on Main Street.
Rivera was booked Tuesday into Lodi Jail and transferred to San Joaquin County Jail on Wednesday morning.
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.