El Centro Police officer, Kalyn Benavidez, attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a gray Nissan, Sunday, July 3, at 4:11 a.m., in the 1900 block of S. 4th Street. The Nissan had been reported as a stolen vehicle from Nebraska. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Elias Gonzalez Caballeros (32 year old transient), entered the McDonald’s parking lot and failed to stop for Officer Benavidez. Officer Benavidez pursued the vehicle for approximately two minutes through the city at speeds reaching 55 miles per hour.
As Caballeros was traveling northbound on 8th Street, he slowed the vehicle in the 1000 block of South 8th Street. Caballeros jumped out of the vehicle as it came to a stop on the west curb line and fled into a nearby apartment complex with Officer Benavidez in chase. Officer Benavidez caught up to Caballeros and took him into custody without incident. A passenger in the vehicle was detained and later released. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of three .380 caliber bullets; however, no firearm was located.
Caballero was interviewed and stated he did not want to stop because he had warrants for his arrest. The police booked him at the county jail for possession of stolen property, evading a police officer, and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.
El Centro police officers brought a peaceful resolution to a dangerous situation. The department commended Officer Benavidez and her partners for their professionalism displaying during this incident.