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Suspect's rifle malfunctioned when he aimed it at Stanislaus deputies during chase, officials say

The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office said that, during the chase, a suspect tried to fire a rifle at deputies, but the rifle ultimately malfunctioned.

STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — Three people were arrested after a 27-mile chase in Stanislaus County, deputies said.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office said they responded to the 3400 block of Central Avenue around 9:30 p.m. Sunday to help Ceres police with reports of an argument and of a person shooting a gun. 

Deputies said they arrived to find a Dodge Ram involved in the incident that was leaving the area. Despite efforts to do a traffic stop, the truck allegedly took off and led deputies on 27-mile pursuit.

During the chase, one suspect allegedly pointed a rifle at deputies and is believed to have tried shooting the gun only for it to malfunction.

The chase came to an end when the truck went into a ditch at North Gates Road and Bacon Road in Salida. The three suspects in the vehicle tried to run off but were quickly caught.

Deputies said they found about $10,000 in a case along with a rifle and marijuana inside the truck.

The suspects were identified as David Contreras Jr., a 31-year-old passenger of Modesto; Christian Henry, a 27-year-old passenger of Modesto; and Mariela Zavala Mendoza, the 27-year-old driver of Ceres.

Contreras was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a loaded firearm in public, possession of an assault weapon, brandishing a gun at an officer, threatening an officer, illegal discharge of gun and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Mendoza was charged with felony pursuit, DUI, discharging a gun from a firearm from a vehicle and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Henry was charged with conspiracy to commit a crime.

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