NewsCovering Kern County


A suspect on pursuit was captured after rolling his car into the San Joaquin River

Posted at 4:17 PM, Aug 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 19:23:54-04

A suspect out of Fresno was arrested on Wednesday, August 8 after rolling his car into a river, trying to evade police, Fresno County Sheriff's Office said.

On August 7, a burglary took place at a home near the 5200 block of South Wildwood Avenue in Del Rey according to officers. Victims told deputies that they saw the suspect and identified him as Efrain Martinez. 

According to deputies, the victims alerted them to Martinez as he was driving back through the area.

After being alerted, Deputies said that 44-year-old Efrain Martinez of Parlier refused to pull over after deputies attempted to make a traffic stop on him. The deputies began to pursue Martinez, but backed off once they could see that the EAGLE One helicopter was following the car.

Dispatchers received reports from motorists saying that Martinez was holding a gun and pointing it toward deputies during the chase. 

Deputies said that they tried multiple times to block Martinez and get him to surrender, but Martinez was unfazed and used his car to ram several vehicles and make his way free onto a side street according to the Fresno County Sheriff.

Martinez once again reached Highway 99 and headed toward the bluff's of the San Joaquin River. After driving along the edge of the bluff where the dirt is soft, Martinez's car began to roll down the embankment into the river, according to Fresno County Sheriff's Office

Martinez then got out of his car and swam across the river toward Scout Island, where approximately 100 kids were attending a day camp. Deputies then alerted the camp to go into lockdown. 

Fresno County Sheriff's Office said Martinez was later spotted wading through the water and trying to take a canoe to paddle downstream. The pilot of EAGLE One then hovered over Martinez, creating a strong force of wind which prevented him from getting into the canoe.

Martinez got to shore and ran between trees and bushes where Fresno County Sheriff K-9 Bady was deployed, found Martinez hiding and bit him, allowing deputies to take him into custody.

Deputies said that he has been booked into the Fresno County Jail on felony counts of burglary, evading police, resisting arrest and harming a K-9 officer.

Anyone with additional information about Efrain Martinez is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-3111. You may also call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867 or online at