Police chase in Chandler comes to end in street collision; 3 hospitalized
PHOENIX – An attempted investigation turned into a car chase across part of the East Valley on Tuesday night before pursuit ended in a crash and the driver in custody, authorities said.
The Chandler Police Department said Derek Jason Cevedia hit three patrol units and two vehicles in traffic and reached 80 mph before he was stopped near Price and Warner roads.
Cevedia was booked on five counts of endangerment to police, one count of aggravated assault and unlawful flight from law enforcement.
The flight went through Mesa and Tempe and lasted less than 45 minutes.
Three people, including the suspect, were taken to the hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening, police said.
Police said they found Cevedia unconscious behind the wheel of his truck in a parking lot near Dobson Road and Chandler Boulevard around 9:30 p.m. They had been called by someone who didn’t identify themself.
Police said officers approached the truck, looked through the window and saw drug paraphernalia. He gunned the engine, jumped the curb and struck the patrol vehicle pushing it backward, according to police documents.
He then put the truck in reverse and hit another police vehicle. Three officers standing nearby were almost hit, police said. One drew their weapon on the truck as it peeled through the lot and drove onto southbound Chandler Boulevard.
Cevedia’s truck was going 80 mph on the East Valley streets before he made it to Loop 202 Santan Freeway at Kyrene Road.
A Chandler police officer then tried to pin the truck in the freeway gore point near Alma School Road, but Cevedia drove at the patrol unit and hit it.
Police were waiting for Cevedia with stop sticks by the time he had made it to Dobson and Pecos roads.
He kept driving, taking Chandler Boulevard, where a Mesa Police Department helicopter picked up his trail.
Cevedia managed to get onto Loop 101 Price Freeway in Tempe after speeding through a Mesa neighborhood.
Once he was off the freeway, Cevedia ran a red light on Warner Road and crashed into the two vehicles shortly after 10 p.m.
Cevedia told police he didn’t remember anything other than being asleep in the truck.
Police said there were two warrants out on Cevedia, one for aggravated assault and another for possession of a dangerous drug.
The intersection was closed for hours for the investigation.