Terra Bella man hit by truck while running from officers

Tulare police arrest Jose Barajas Morales on multiple charges after chasing him down in Tulare

TULARE – It’s not always great to run from the law, but if you do, try not to get hit on the freeway. If only Jose Barajas Morales had taken this advice he may not have been apprehended.

According to the Tulare Police Department, at approximately 8:50 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, dispatchers received a notification from a license plate reader (LPR) in the area of Leland and Hillman. The notification advised that a stolen vehicle was in the area and provided the vehicle description. Officers responded to the area in an attempt to locate the vehicle. 

An officer observed the stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the Ross clothing store located in the 1400 block of Hillman. The officer contacted the male driver as he exited the vehicle. A female also exited with a small child and walked away toward the store. The suspect ran from the officer in a westbound direction. He ran through a hotel parking lot then jumped the chain link fence and across the northbound lanes of Highway 99. He then jumped the center median and was struck by a southbound vehicle, however was able to get to his feet and continue running westbound. Another responding officer was on the other side of the freeway and was able to apprehend him. He was transported to a local hospital and medically cleared for booking. 

Officers were unable to locate the female and child. The vehicle was reported stolen to the Visalia Police Department on Aug. 18. The vehicle was recovered and released to its owner. The suspect was later identified as Jose Barajas Morales, 36 from Terra Bella. He was later transported to Tulare County Jail and booked on charges of auto theft, possession of stolen property, driving on a suspended license, resisting or obstructing an officer and possession of burglary tools. He also had six misdemeanor warrants.

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