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Teen allegedly drives stolen vehicle into California El Grito Festival

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A 15-year-old boy accused of driving a stolen vehicle into Salinas’ El Grito Festival injured two children before trying to flee on foot on Sunday, police say.

At about 5:50 p.m., as the Mexican Independence Day festival just ended, officers attempted to stop a stolen vehicle at East Market Street and North Hebbron Avenue, Salinas police announced in a news release.

The driver — identified as the 15-year-old teen — allegedly led officers on a short pursuit that ended as he crashed through wooden barricades into the festival at North Pearl and East Alisal streets.

But he kept going westbound on Alisal, with the car’s rear bumper dragging, police said. 

He allegedly first hit a child in a stroller who suffered a minor cut. A second child struck had an injured foot and was transported to a local hospital; police described the second child’s condition as “stable.”

Eventually the driver stopped and fled on foot, according to police. Multiple community members chased after him and detained him until officers came to arrest him.

He was booked into Monterey County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle, evading, hit-and-run causing injury, reckless driving, and reckless driving causing injury, police said.

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The event regularly attracts thousands to the streets of East Salinas each year to celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain and Mexican heritage more broadly.

A Facebook event said El Grito festival was scheduled to end at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Contact reporter Eduardo Cuevas at ecuevas@thecalifornian.com or 831-269-9363. To support this kind of work, please subscribe.

Read or Share this story: https://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/2019/09/16/teen-allegedly-drives-stolen-vehicle-into-california-el-grito-festival/2341448001/

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