HANFORD — A man driving a stolen dirt bike Monday took Hanford police officers on a high-speed chase after blowing through a red traffic signal, according to officials.
Police said the man, identified as 50-year-old Phillip Ochoa, led officers on a three-mile pursuit through city streets in the southwestern area of Hanford; reaching speeds of approximately 70 miles per hour.
Hanford Police Department officers said the chase started around 9:30 p.m. when they attempted to stop Ochoa and his passenger, who were riding the dirt bike near the intersection of 12th Avenue and Hanford-Armona Road.
After officers began chasing Ochoa, police said he raced westbound on Third Street — which is an eastbound only street — and then turned north along the railroad tracks.
Along the railroad tracks, officials said Ochoa’s dirt bike malfunctioned and he and his passenger fell off the bike. Both fled on foot and officers chased after Ochoa.
Ochoa was apprehended on Fourth Street, just west of the railroad tracks, and police said he was found to have a butterfly knife in his possession.
Officers said they also ran the VIN number on the dirt bike and learned it had been reported stolen.
Police officials said Ochoa was booked into the Kings County Jail on suspicion of grand theft auto, felony evading, delaying an officer, possession of a butterfly knife and driving while unlicensed.