A driver with prior felony convictions was stopped in Lake Havasu City last month when he was allegedly seen running a stop sign. Due to the driver’s prior drug convictions, officers requested a K-9 unit to inspect his vehicle. According to police, that’s when the suspect panicked.
On June 22, arresting officers were forced to slam on their brakes to prevent a collision with 57-year-old Jose A. Baltazar of Lake Havasu City. Officers pursued Baltazar and stopped his vehicle near the intersection of Marickese Way and Simitan Drive, the report said.
A records check showed Baltazar had prior felony convictions involving dangerous drugs. Officers brought a K-9 unit to help determine whether contraband was present in Baltazar’s vehicle. According to police, Baltazar reluctantly turned his vehicle’s engine off, but refused to hand over his car keys upon request. When the K-9 allegedly detected drugs in his vehicle, officers asked Baltazar to step out. Instead, the report said, Baltazar restarted his engine and sped from the scene.
Officers attempted unsuccessfully to grab Baltazar’s keys to prevent him from driving away, the report said. According to police, two officers were dragged 50 feet as they attempted to force Baltazar to stop his vehicle.
Police pursued Baltazar for less than half a mile before his vehicle allegedly turned into a Palisades Lane driveway. Officers followed Baltazar, the report said, and exited their cruisers with weapons drawn as they began searching for him.
According to the report, officers later found Baltazar at his Lakeland Drive home and he was taken into custody. A search of his vehicle allegedly yielded a crystal shard of methamphetamine and a black scale covered in methamphetamine residue.
Baltazar was arraigned July 5 on felony charges including two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated assault against an officer, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, endangerment and unlawful flight from law enforcement.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is expected to appear in Mohave Superior Court July 29 for a pre-trial conference.