By William McCurry
SACRAMENTO – Defendant Nicholas Cafferty found himself in a somewhat “sticky” situation nearly a year and a half ago when he tried to outrun police and his—stolen—truck became stuck in the mud.
Now, he’s facing four charges and a July trial after his preliminary hearing this week in Sacramento County Superior Court.
According to the facts of the case, on Dec. 21, 2019, defendant Cafferty was driving a white Ford F-250 when Officer Cumberland spotted him at 3:08 a.m. turning onto a dead-end street. When Officer Cumberland turned onto the same street, Cafferty made a U-turn, indicating, said Cumberland, he did not live in the neighborhood.
Deputy District Attorney Toni Linarez called Officer Cumberland as a witness, who testified that when he observed the truck make a U-turn it indicated that he was “trying to avoid my presence.” A records check of the vehicle showed that the registration had expired in 2012 and he began to follow the vehicle.
While following defendant Cafferty, Officer Cumberland stated that when he activated his lights to conduct a traffic stop, Cafferty “accelerated, driving through the white gate that separates the road and the field north of it and he attempted to evade my lights.”
After Cafferty accelerated away from Cumberland into the field, Cumberland began pursuit, but became stuck in the mud and lost visual of Cafferty. As Cumberland was stuck in the mud, he requested a perimeter of the neighborhood and provided a description of Cafferty and the truck he was driving.
Shortly after Cumberland got stuck, he was informed that Cafferty was located about a half a mile away by responding officers—Cafferty was also stuck in the mud.
Cumberland told the court, while on scene, he observed two barbed wire fences and a chain-link fence that were both damaged from Cafferty driving through them. Officers discovered thatCafferty did not have permission to drive the vehicle.
Cafferty, as a result, is charged with vehicle theft, evading a peace officer while driving in a reckless manner, hit and run, and vandalism.
Judge Stephen Acquisto concluded that all four counts were in fact committed and ruled that there is probable cause to believe that Cafferty is guilty of those offenses. Trial is set for July 12.
William McCurry is a fourth year at Sacramento State, majoring in Criminal Justice. He is from Brentwood, California.
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