E.C. police rescue Imperial resident after vehicle plunges into canal during chase

November 27, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

A 20-year-old Imperial man pulled from a canal by El Centro police after he plunged into the waterway during a pursuit was booked into the county jail for possessing drug paraphernalia.

Ray Manuel Ayon Montaño, arrested Sunday, was released Monday on his own recognizance.

The case started about 10 p.m. Sunday when El Centro police Sgt. Jeff Mason attempted to stop a vehicle for speeding near Fourth Street and Broadway.

The driver failed to stop, leading police on a chase through the city during which speeds reached 80 mph.

The driver led police west on Broadway. After striking a flagpole on Imperial Avenue, the driver continued at a speed of 80 mph west on Main Street.

When he reached Austin Road, he attempted a left turn but crashed into the Central Main Canal.

Officers Leo Bulong and Victor Nuñez and others from the department jumped into the canal to rescue Montaño, who was floating face up, according to police Lt. Paul Longoria.


Montaño was not seriously injured and was taken into custody on suspicion of failing to yield to police.

Police reportedly found a hypodermic syringe in his possession, leading to the arrest on suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia.

The case remained under investigation today.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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