Smuggling suspect falls face first into cow manure, arrested
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Two men were arrested near Maricopa after a wild chase that ended on a dairy farm, with one of the suspects falling into a pile of cow manure.
Pinal County Sheriff's officials said they received a tip that two or three people were loading marijuana bundles on a green Ford Taurus near Interstate 8 and Stanfield Road.
A deputy found a truck matching the description just after 8 a.m. on Dec. 1. and attempted to pull over the vehicle. The suspects' car fled at speeds over 100 miles per hour and several deputies responded to help in the vehicle pursuit. Police tried to deflate the suspects' tires by laying out "spike strips." Police said the suspect swerved and tried to hit one of the deputies, according to a news release.
The vehicle pursuit ended after about 35 minutes when black smoke started coming from under the suspects' vehicle. The car stopped in Amarillo Valley, south of Teel Road where police said two Hispanic men ran in opposite directions.
Deputies chased the driver through a nearby dairy farm. A dairy worker saw the two deputies chasing the suspect, so he reportedly tripped the man, who fell face first into cow manure. According to the news release, the activity scared a nearby cow, which then stepped on the suspect.
The suspect stood up and allegedly punched the dairy worker in the face multiple times as the worker tried to restrain him.
The deputies caught up and arrested the suspect, who falsely identified himself as Roman Martinez Lopez. After checking his fingerprints, police identified him as 25-year-old Ruben Soto-Gonzalez of Casa Grande.
He was booked into the Pinal County Jail for two counts of aggravated assault, felony flight, possession of marijuana for sale and possession of marijuana.
The passenger was later found hiding under a bush. He was identified as 40-year-old Daniel Aguilar-Alvarez of Mexico and was booked into the Pinal County Jail for possession of marijuana for sale and possession of marijuana.
Deputies later found 160 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle, worth an estimated $120,000.
The dairy worker's nose and mouth were bloody and swollen. He drove himself to Urgent Care.
"I want to thank the dairy worker for his bravery while helping us arrest a fleeing felon who obviously didn't care about anybody's safety but his own," Sheriff Paul Babeu stated in the release.
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