It just keeps getting worse...........just like I said it would
Gilbert police led on wild chase
24 immigrants packed in truck
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 26, 2006
A Tucson man driving a stolen pickup truck carrying 24 undocumented immigrants led police on a wild pursuit through Gilbert Wednesday.
The driver, 24-year-old Dalton J. Cecena, tried twice to run over an officer on a motorcycle and intentionally slammed on the truck's brakes during the pursuit, causing a patrol car to hit the back of the truck, police said.
The truck driven by Cecena, a U.S. citizen, eventually crashed through a fence into a citrus orchard near Higley Road and Houston Avenue, said Lt. Joe Ruet, a Gilbert police spokesman.
Everyone in the truck, a red Ford F350, dispersed into the orchard, where they were apprehended. Two men in the truck's bed, which was covered by a camper no higher than the cab's roof, were taken to a hospital, Ruet said.
All 24 undocumented immigrants - 19 men, three women and two boys - were stuffed in the truck's bed. Police gave them water and Gatorade after detaining them.
"They sucked that stuff in like a sponge," Ruet said.
A 17-year-old boy from Tucson, also a U.S. citizen, also was in the cab.
The pursuit started at 2:47 p.m. when Officer Bill Balafas attempted to pull over the truck at Val Vista Drive and Williams Field Road.
As Balafas pulled up behind the truck on his motorcycle, Cecena reversed the truck, attempting to run over Balafas, police said. The officer pulled up next to Cecena and ordered him to pull over, Ruet said. Instead, Cecena swerved, forcing Balafas to jump off his motorcycle to avoid the truck.
"He (Cecena) had total disregard for that officer's life," Ruet said.
More than 20 Gilbert officers responded to the 11-minute chase, during which Cecena drove into oncoming traffic and reached speeds up to 70 mph, Ruet said.
Cecena headed north, ending the chase in the orchard, where officers found people hiding in trees, Ruet said.
Cecena was arrested on suspicion of multiple felony charges. It wasn't his first run-in with the law: Cecena served more than 6½ years in state prison for attempting to commit manslaughter in Pima County. He was released in November 2003.
Police turned over the immigrants, except the injured, to immigration officers.
Val Vista and Williams field is not that far from my house..
Too bad they weren't in Chandler...
tap, tap, tap..............is this thing on?
No joke. Motor officers in Chandler kill people for less than that shit.