TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It was an unusual case for the Cochise County Sheriff's Office, as deputies responded to a call received at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30 about an attempt to steal a vehicle in Sierra Vista.
Deputies arrived at the scene and made contact with Paul William Otanez who reported three males had been trying to steal his vehicle near his apartment on Canyon Drive.
According to a CCSO news release, Otanez told deputies the three must have jumped the back fence to get away, however when deputies looked they were unable to find any indication that anyone had been in the back area due to the snow on the ground not being disturbed.
Otanez was told by deputies that they would search the area for the suspects and left to patrol the neighborhood.
At 2 p.m. Sunday, CCSO was advised of a hit and run at the Canyon Drive location. According to the CCSO news release, the caller stated a male driving a blue SUV ran into a block wall and caused extensive damage before leaving the area. Deputies determined it was Otanez who had left the area, heading eastbound.
By 2:08 p.m Sunday, CCSO learned the blue SUV was seen being driven erratically in the Canyon Vista Medical Center parking lot, before it left at a high rate of speed toward Justice Court #5 on Colonia De Salud.
According to the CCSO release deputies saw the blue SUV crash through a locked gate behind the Justice Court before driving over the sidewalk and curb and smashing into the CCSO building. Deputies identified the driver as Otanez, as he drove back through the broken gate and sped back to Highway 90.
The SUV turned west onto Highway 90 before traveling to the intersection with Highway 92, heading west on Fry Boulevard weaving in and out of traffic and into oncoming lanes. It was traveling on the wrong side of the road near Avenida Escuela when it hit a second vehicle head on. According to the news release there were no serious injuries as a result of the crash.
Otanez was taken into custody at the scene of the crash by both CCSO deputies and the Sierra Vista Police Department.
He was then booked into the Cochise County Jail on the following charges: leaving the scene of accident, criminal damage, endangerment x3, unlawful flight from law enforcement, and additional charges pending.
The investigation is ongoing, according to CCSO and SVPD any additional information will be released as it becomes available.