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Petaluma man suspected of evading police in stolen vehicle

A Petaluma driver suspected of running from authorities after they stopped him in Rohnert Park late Thursday night was arrested on a host of charges, including suspected evasion and auto theft, the CHP said.

Even as David Ochoa, 26, was being questioned about the ownership of the pickup he was driving, another man was combing the parking lot of the nearby casino trying to find the truck, which Ochoa is suspected of stealing, the CHP said.

The case unfolded when an officer observed what appeared to be an erratic driver leaving the Graton Resort - Casino around 10:35 p.m., authorities said. He pulled over the truck after it traveled onto southbound Highway 101 and then off at Rohnert Park Expressway, the CHP said.

But instead of surrendering, the driver got out and started to run, bumping into and bouncing off the back of a Rohnert Park patrol car that had just arrived, the CHP said. Officers soon caught up with Ochoa and detained him.

Authorities called the truck's registered owner, and she said her boyfriend had the vehicle at the casino. Officers and casino security personnel found the properly authorized driver searching for the truck in the parking lot, the CHP said.

Ochoa, meanwhile, was jailed on suspicion of evasion, auto theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of methamphetamine and driving under the influence of drugs. He remained at the Sonoma County Jail on Friday, with bail of $10,000, jail personnel said.


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