Man facing two felonies following chase that ended in collision with cop car
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POCATELLO — A Utah man who is alleged to have led officers on a chase through a residential neighborhood in Pocatello Friday night, is facing a pair of felony charges.
Ceaser Ramon Rodriguez, 31, is being held at the Bannock County Jail on felony charges of attempting to elude officers and aggravated battery. The battery charge stems from his head-on collision with a Pocatello police cruiser, not the multiple bar fights he was allegedly involved in on the same night.
Police reports show Pocatello Police officers were dispatched to two separate bars Friday night in response to fights. Both times, two men involved in the fighting had fled before officers arrived. Descriptions of the vehicle the men were driving, a black 2005 Ford Focus with Utah plates, were supplied, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
A vehicle matching that description was seen speeding on East Center Street around 2:30 a.m. When officers attempted a traffic stop, the vehicle, driven by a man later identified as Rodriguez, instead sped away at speeds up to 52 mph in a 30-mph zone.
The vehicle passed speeds of 60 mph in 25-mph areas, the affidavit says. Attempts to stop the vehicle, using both spike strips and PIT maneuvers, were unsuccessful.
On La Valle Strada, near Hidden Valley Community Park, the vehicle turned around to head back toward officers. After missing several patrol vehicles, it struck one head-on as it accelerated to 25 mph. This effectively ended the chase, and officers forcibly removed Rodriguez and the passenger from the vehicle.
At the Pocatello Police Department, Rodriguez told officers that he had consumed two beers over the course of one or two hours. He was administered a field sobriety test, and failed to complete it in a “satisfactory manner,” according to the affidavit.
After Rodriguez refused to provide a breathalyzer sample, officers received a warrant for a blood draw. Two samples were taken.
In addition to the two felonies, Rodriguez has been charged with a misdemeanor driving-under-the-influence, which would be his second in the past 10 years.
He is currently being held on a combined bail of $102,500 for the three charges.
If he is found guilty, Rodriguez could face up to 20 years in prison and $55,000 in fines. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 16.