Two juveniles from Oakhurst were arrested after they attempted to flee from Madera County Sheriff’s Deputies at the Oakhurst Denny’s, hitting three employees before crashing off of Harmony Lane.
One of the teens was charged with felony evasion and assault with a deadly weapon as a result.
Shortly before 3 a.m. Sept. 5, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Denny’s reporting three males failed to pay for their meal and struck an employee with their vehicle while fleeing the parking lot.
They reported the suspects were driving a Nissan Sentra that left southbound on Highway 41 at a high rate of speed. Hearing the suspect’s vehicle description, Deputy Ryan Vermeulen spotted the vehicle driving west on Highway 49 near Westlake Drive.
Vermeulen attempted to stop the vehicle, however it sped away at a high rate of speed and the deputy quickly lost sight of it. When Vermeulen reached Harmony Lane, he realized the vehicle was no longer in front of him and suspected they might have turned off. He turned around and started retracing his path, then discovered the vehicle had left the roadway and crashed just east of Harmony Lane.
Vermeulen discovered the wrecked vehicle was unoccupied and it appeared the subjects had fled the scene on foot. With assistance from the California Highway Patrol and the Mariposa County Sheriff K9 unit, a search of the area was conducted but the subjects were not located.
During the course of the investigation, the deputies were able to identify the subjects as two 15 year olds and an 11-year-old. They also learned the vehicle had actually struck three Denny’s employees in the parking lot during their getaway. One of those employees was struck twice, first with the rear of the vehicle then with the side mirror of the vehicle, causing her minor injury. The other two employees were not injured.
Deputies were eventually able to locate and place the 15-year-old driver under arrest for felony evading, assault with a deadly weapon, and defrauding an innkeeper. They also placed the 15-year-old passenger under arrest for defrauding an innkeeper. The 11-year-old was also located but was not taken into custody.
The two teens sustained minor injuries from the accident. They were both medically cleared at the hospital and then booked at the Madera County Juvenile Hall.