Suspect caught in backyard shed after Santa Margarita chase


A Bakersfield man who had three outstanding warrants in San Luis Obispo County fled officers by vehicle and by foot prior to getting caught inside a shed in the backyard of a Santa Margarita home Saturday evening.

Shortly before 6 p.m., a CHP officer noticed a driver in a white Ford F-150 who was not wearing a seatbelt. The driver, 38-year-old Christopher Gomez Cruz, was heading westbound on Yerba Buena Avenue and was stopped at the intersection of I Street, according to the CHP.

The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Cruz fled and a short pursuit ensued. After driving about 200 yards, Cruz lost control of his pickup and hit a chain-link fence west of H Street, disabling the truck. Cruz then fled northbound on foot, according to the CHP.

While giving chase, the officer received assistance from sheriff’s K-9 units. San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies established a perimeter, and officers eventually found Cruz hiding in a utility shed in the backyard of a home.

Officers arrested Cruz and booked him into the SLO County Jail on charges of evading an officer, resisting arrest and failing to stop following an accident. Cruz is no longer in custody, according to the sheriff.