Three men were arrested Saturday after leading police on a brief but high-speed chase through Ukiah, only stopping after a mechanical issue disabled their pickup, police said.
A passenger ran from the stopped truck and fled on foot through several backyards and then into a church, where Mass was being celebrated. He tried to hide among the parishioners, Sgt. Cedric Crook said.
Police, CHP officers and Mendocino County sheriff's deputies pursued Juan Carlos Lopez, 23, of Willits, into St. Mary's Church on South Oak Street, and he was apprehended, Crook said.
An officer had tried to pull over the white 1990 Toyota pickup at about 7:05 p.m. on Talmage Road near South State Street, Crook said.
Driver Gerardo Gonzalez, 21, of Ukiah, didn't stop, running a red light at South State Street and Talmage Road. He was driving about 60 mph on westbound Observatory Avenue and running through stop signs, Crook said.
The chase ended after Gonzalez pulled into a business parking lot at 1165 South Dora St. The vehicle began leaking fluid fuel and came to a stop, Crook said.
As Lopez fled on foot, police detained Gonzalez and another passenger, Luis Manuel Ayala-Ortiz, 20, of Ukiah.
Gonzalez was arrested on suspicion of recklessly evading police and drunken driving with blood-alcohol level greater than 0.08 percent, police said.
Ayala-Ortiz was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, officials said.
Lopez was arrested on suspicion of violating parole, resisting/delaying police, as well as on arrest warrants for hit-and-run crash and violating probation, Crook said.