Lodi Police Rescue Suspects From River After They Led Them on Pursuit, Vehicle Theft

December 23, 2016 |

Lodi, Calif. - Lodi Police rescued three suspects from the Mokelumne River after they led them on a vehicle pursuit following a suspected vehicle theft.

Yesterday Lodi Police officers Bristow and Woods located a reported stolen vehicle and attempted to conduct an enforcement stop. Instead of complying, the occupants of the vehicle fled and led the officers on a short pursuit that ended when the vehicle became disabled along the bank of the Mokelumne River, east of Lodi.

The three occupants of the vehicle fled and jumped into the river. Two of the suspects had to be immediately rescued due to the extremely cold temperature of the river.

Officer Bristow climbed partially down an embankment and pulled one of the suspects, 28-year old Bryan Susich (pictured above), up to safety. Nicholas Lang, 22 (below, left), was also pulled from the river and apprehended.

The third suspect was last seen in the water, and could not immediately be located. An extensive search was conducted with the assistance of a CHP helicopter, the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office, and Mokelumne Rural Fire boat rescue.

After approximately two hours, the CHP helicopter saw a faint heat signature in the water. Officer Woods accompanied Mokelumne boat rescue on a small watercraft and located Samuel Meza, 33 (below, right), clutching a tree along the river bank.

Meza was partially submerged in the water and was extremely cold. Officers on the river bank could not reach Meza and Meza was not physically able to pull himself from the river. Officer Woods pulled Meza from the water and into the safety of the watercraft.

The vehicle was confirmed as stolen and a loaded rifle was found inside of the cab. Meza was booked for felony evading, vehicle theft, felon in possession of a loaded firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, and an unrelated parole violation warrant. Susich was booked for being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, and two unrelated misdemeanor warrants. Lang was booked for resisting arrest and being a prohibited person in possession of a loaded firearm.

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