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Ventura County Focus | West County / VENTURA

Suspect Who Fled in Wheelchair Arrested

July 31, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A drunk driving suspect who escaped police custody in a wheelchair was arrested Thursday morning at a friend's house in Ventura, authorities said.

Trent Arthur Preciado, 30, was arrested about 11 a.m. on the 200 block of Burnett Avenue after county authorities received a tip he had been staying there since pulling out his IV tubes and fleeing Saturday from Ventura County Medical Center, Sheriff's Sgt. Rick Barber said.

After the hospital escape, a warrant was issued for Preciado's arrest charging him with evading arrest, as well as reckless and drunk driving stemming from an earlier chase and crash, Barber said.

There were no guards posted at the door to Preciado's hospital room, but Officer Dave Cockrill of the California Highway Patrol said that an accomplice of the suspect might have helped him escape by getting him the wheelchair and also driving him from the hospital.

Preciado had been arrested July 18 after leading police on a chase through east Ventura, authorities said. Deputies had wanted to stop Preciado after seeing his car drift across the center divider on Foothill Road.

The chase ended when Preciado crashed into a pole, injuring himself and a passenger. Both Preciado and Angel Palafox were taken to the hospital with broken legs.

Preciado was in Ventura County Jail on $20,000 bail.

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