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Police chase down kidnapping suspect

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 22nd, 2014

Police train their weapons on a man who fled from them in a stolen Mercedes Benz Tuesday. After the suspect crashed, he fled on foot and barricaded himself in a garage before police flushed him out. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — A Watsonville man, who is a suspect in a recent kidnapping, is in custody following a dramatic vehicle and foot chase Tuesday.

While searching for Rudy Corpus, 26, members of the Santa Cruz Auto Theft Reduction and Enforcement Team set up surveillance on a stolen 1999 Mercedes Benz 230 that was parked on East Beach Street around 11:30 a.m., said Watsonville Deputy Chief David McCartney. When officers spotted Corpus get in the vehicle they approached but he sped off. As the pursuit barreled down Blackburn Street Corpus lost control as he charged through a stop sign on East Lake Avenue. The Mercedes plowed into a curb on East Lake, shattering the right front wheel and twisting the front axle. That’s when Corpus baled on foot and raced toward Madison Street with scores of officers from various departments on the trail.

Corpus managed to scramble up onto a roof of a garage in hopes of ditching police but they spotted him climbing onto the one story building behind 28 Madison St.

As police set up a perimeter and ushered in a K9, Corpus suddenly plunged through the roof. A Dodge pickup parked up against the garage door posed a huge problem for police because they could not make access to the now barricaded suspect.

Officer Donny Thul established dialogue with Corpus through the wood walls of the garage and pleaded with him numerous times to peacefully cooperate but Corpus could he heard swearing and rebuking efforts by police.

About 30 minutes later police were able to roll the pickup forward and they thrust open the spring-loaded swinging door. Corpus meanwhile had buried himself in the mountain of household goods and was completely hidden. As police began picking through the wall of boxes, mattresses and furniture, Corpus, with at least 20 officers standing by, made one last effort to break free through the hole in the roof. But armed officers were stationed on the roof and as Corpus popped out he resisted police so one officer used a Taser to stun him. Then they were able to handcuff Corpus who was covered in spider webs, sweating profusely, with scrapes and bruises.

Watsonville firefighters then provided a ladder to help police lower Corpus from the roof while handcuffed.

During a search of the garage police found a bag of methamphetamine that they believe Corpus had ditched.

“You didn’t have to shoot me, man,” Corpus hollered at police. “What are you taking pictures of?”

Police said the Mercedes was reported stolen in Watsonville Thursday. Though details about the kidnapping are still murky, McCartney said investigators are trying to piece together a domestic violence incident where Corpus may have kidnapped a female acquaintance over the weekend.

McCartney said the California Highway Patrol provided key backup with a swift response from about a dozen officers.

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