COARSEGOLD – Vandalism and theft in the parking lot at the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino early this morning ended with a 20-minute chase, a crash and three arrests.
At 3:17 a.m., Madera County Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of several intoxicated individuals breaking into vehicles at the casino.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they encountered five individuals involved in the reported activity. One fled on foot but was apprehended and arrested by deputies. The man had a loaded firearm in his possession at the time, and was also charged with resisting arrest, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
A second man did not attempt to flee, but was arrested for possession of stolen property.
The three other individuals jumped into a blue Jeep Cherokee and took off at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting two deputies as they raced out of the parking lot. Deputies pursued the Jeep as it sped north on Highway 41 over Deadwood and through Oakhurst.
The driver of the Jeep has been identified by CHP as Cesar Ramirez Segura, 24. The passengers were identified as Matthew Gonzales, 34, and Martin Landeros, 32, both of Merced.
At Lewis Creek, CHP took over the pursuit. The Jeep continued north on Highway 41 at a high rate of speed, and near Miami Creek Road it crossed into the southbound lane. In order to avoid an oncoming logging truck, CHP says the driver swerved back into his own lane, causing him to lose control of the vehicle which then crashed into a stump on the west side of the road and overturned.
Segura suffered major injuries in the crash, according to CHP, who arrested him for felony DUI and evading law enforcement. He was transported to Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Fresno.
Passengers Gonzales and Landeros suffered what were described by CHP as moderate injuries.
Landeros was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on charges of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for sale, unlawful possession of a loaded concealed hand gun, gang activity and other charges. He has been released from the hospital and is being held on a $50,000 bond at the Madera County Department of Corrections.
Gonzales was not arrested, but was treated by medics and transported to CRMC for treatment of his injuries.