GCPD Media Release: Auto Theft-Vehicle Pursuit-Officer Injured

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Garden City Police Department

On June 16, 2020, at around 8:30 PM, Officers were dispatched to 2100 Campus
Dr., for an auto theft which had just occurred. The reporting party reported their
Gold, 2002, GMC Sierra, had just been stolen by a man with tattoos on his face.

A Finney County Sheriff’s Office deputy located the stolen truck while patrolling
the area of Telegram and Burnside Dr. a short time after the initial report came
out. The deputy initiated a traffic stop, and the driver fled in the stolen truck. The
driver, later identified as Francisco Lopez Jr. (26), Wichita KS, drove erratically in
the area while fleeing from the deputy. The Finney County Sheriff’s Office
requested assistance from the Garden City Police Department, who responded to
the area.

When the pursuit first started, Lopez had narrowly missed striking two children
playing near their residence in the area of 200 Buffalo Dr, causing the deputy to
slow down and lose sight of the truck.

Officers and deputies lost contact with the truck momentarily. While Officers were
still in the area, an officer was stopped at the stop sign at Frontage 83 and
Burnside Dr. when the officer began to proceed through the intersection. Lopez
emerged from behind the officer and attempted to illegally pass the officer on the
left while failing to yield at a stop sign and struck the officer’s patrol vehicle on the
driver’s side. Lopez went off the road and into the ditch, wrecking against a gas
line barrier after hitting the officer’s patrol car.

The driver ran from the vehicle, and an officer pursued Lopez on foot. The driver
was located and taken into custody and lodged in the Finney County Jail.

The officer sustained minor injuries and was treated at St. Catherine Hospital.
Lopez suffered a scratch to his leg and hand but refused to be seen by EMS.

Lopez was arrested for the following charges, and the case has been forwarded to
the Finney County Attorney’s Office for further review.

Auto Theft, Fleeing and Attempting to Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer,
Aggravated Battery Against a Law Enforcement Officer, Aggravated Assault,
Interference with a Law Enforcement Officer, Reckless Driving, Fail to Stop at the
Scene of an Accident Involving Injury, Duty of Driver to Give Certain Information
After Accident, No Valid DL, and Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.

*The person(s) involved has not yet been convicted of a crime, and are presumed
innocent. The presumption of innocence shall continue until such time that the
person(s) accused may be found guilty by a court of law.*