An erratic and apparently unstable driver led to high levels of police activity near the Alameda County Fairgrounds on Wednesday morning, with details on the incident continuing to unravel.
A little before 10 a.m., three Pleasanton Police Department motorcycle units were in the parking lot of the Pleasanton Gateway Shopping Center along Bernal Avenue when they heard someone yelling from a white Lexus SUV, according to department officials in a statement. Sgt. Julie Fragomeli said the man was at the Safeway gas station and yelling "bizarre things," frightening fellow gas station patrons.
One officer tried to contact the driver, who was the SUV’s sole occupant, officials said. However, the man "sped off and began driving recklessly through the parking lot," and then drove at high speeds across Bernal Avenue and onto Koll Center Parkway, which is across from the Alameda County Fairgrounds on the other side of Valley Avenue.
PPD officers tried to stop the car for numerous vehicle code violations, officials said, but the driver refused to stop. He turned southbound onto Valley Avenue and stopped for the red light at the Valley and Bernal avenues intersection, at which point the officers approached the SUV and ordered him to step outside.
At first, the driver did leave the SUV and complied with officers’ orders, officials said. But after he was taken into custody, the man "became combative and began fighting with officers." After a short struggle, he was taken into custody and arrested for driving under the influence, resisting arrest and evading the police.
Because of his abnormal behavior, he was also placed on medical hold, Fragomeli said, and at around 10:20 a.m. was on an ambulance headed to ValleyCare Medical Center.