Oakdale Police officers were busy Sunday, June 26, searching for a Tuolumne County fugitive after a vehicle involved in a high speed pursuit and assault on a Tuolumne County deputy earlier in the morning was located at Dorada Park minutes after it entered the city.
At 6:23 a.m., a Tuolumne County Sheriff's deputy attempted a traffic stop on a purple 2000 Saturn sedan on Chicken Ranch Road in Jamestown. The driver fled the stop with deputies in pursuit along Highway 108. At one point during the chase, the driver spun the vehicle and accelerated head on at the pursuing deputy's patrol car causing the deputy to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision.
During the incident, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department notified surrounding police agencies. They identified the driver as Jesus Valdovinos, 34, of Stanislaus County. Deputies also learned that Valdovinos was wanted on a felony warrant for a prior assault out of Turlock.
The pursuit continued at speeds above 100 mph along westbound Highway 108 and entered the city limits of Oakdale at 6:43 a.m. according to Oakdale Police dispatch records.
Tuolumne County Sheriff’s representatives stated that due to the populated area and hazard of the chase, the pursuit was shut down.
Five minutes later, Oakdale Police Officer Dale Russell found the Saturn parked and occupied with at least one subject in front of Dorada Park near North Third Avenue.
When officers ordered the occupant out, they discovered the person was Valdovinos’ estranged wife.
Police said the woman was cooperative with them and reported that Valovinos fled on foot from the car south, toward the downtown area.
The woman said she attempted to get Valdovinos to stop the vehicle multiple times during the pursuit and that he was holding her against her will, refusing to let her go. She told police that a restraining order, stemming from a prior domestic violence incident, was on file to protect her from him.
Other law enforcement units from the Modesto area CHP and Stanislaus Sheriff’s Department arrived to assist with the search for Valdovinos, but after an hour were released.
Oakdale Police said that around 6:40 p.m. they received a call that the suspect was hiding under the Yosemite Avenue Bridge near the Cost Less Shopping Center.
When officers arrived, Valdovinos was spotted running across the river wearing camouflage pants but not wearing a shirt.
Police called in a canine unit to assist in the search but were unable to locate Valdovinos.
The search was shut down around 7:30 p.m.
The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department is looking for Valdovinos for an array of felony charges. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call Oakdale Police at (209) 847-2231 or the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office at (209) 533-5815.