OAKHURST — Two juveniles were taken into custody after allegedly hitting an employee with a car in an Oakhurst restaurant parking lot while attempting to get away without paying their bill.
Just before 3 a.m., on Monday, Sept. 5, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office received a call that three male subjects were refusing to pay their check at Denny’s.
The three teenagers — two age 15 and one age 11 — were reportedly trying to leave the parking lot in a 2012 Nissan Sentra, when several employees went out to confront them.
In their haste to get away, the teens struck one employee twice with their vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which constitutes assault with a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime.
The teens then raced out of the parking lot and headed south on Highway 41, then turned west onto Highway 49, and were spotted by a Madera County Sheriff’s deputy near the True Value at Westlake Drive.
The deputy attempted to pull them over, but the suspect vehicle then took off at speeds estimated at up to 95 mph and the deputy quickly lost sight of them on the curves headed towards Ahwahnee.
As he drove through the long straightaway at Harmony Lane, the deputy assumed the vehicle must have turned off somewhere, and he turned around and headed back towards Oakhurst. That’s when he saw the suspect vehicle crashed off the side of the road, and got out to check on the occupants.
Upon reaching the vehicle, the deputy discovered that the doors were open and all the teens were gone.
CHP was called out to assist, along with a K9 Unit from the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, and the area around the crash site was searched without locating the three suspects.
Deputies then began an investigation as to who the boys were, and were able to locate all three at a residence in the Ahwahnee area.
Both of the 15-year-olds were taken into custody, and having sustained minor injuries, were cleared at the Madera Community Hospital before being booked into Madera County Juvenile Hall, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The driver was charged with felony evading and assault with a deadly weapon. Both were charged with defrauding an innkeeper. The 11-year-old, who was reportedly the brother of the driver, was not arrested.
The Denny’s employee, described as a female in her mid-30s, suffered only minor injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Office. It was also learned that two other employees had been struck by the car in the juveniles’ attempt to leave the scene, but were uninjured.