Fresno Man Accused of Stealing Truck with 8-Yr-Old Inside

September 8, 2009 8:58:40 PM PDT
We are learning new information about the man involved in a dangerous police pursuit in Central Fresno Monday night. Miguel Galarza is accused of stealing a truck with an 8-year-old boy inside, then crashing into two vehicles.Signs of the high speed crash still litter the DMV parking lot where police captured Galarza. He is accused of stealing a white truck parked outside a minimart. The driver left the keys inside along with his eight-year old grandson. Police say the boy is ok, despite Miguel Galarza colliding with two cars and traveling as fast as 100-miles per hour. Action News has learned Galarza was on parole for a 2006 conviction. Fresno's Police Chief Jerry Dyer says this is a case of the state's budget crisis letting more criminals out of custody. Dyer says, "Just the entire pressure on the criminal justice system right now is making it more difficult for us to police. We are seeing more people that are being released from prison, more people released from jail that are continually involved in criminal activity."

We looked into Galarza's criminal history. It spans a decade. In 1999, he was convicted of burglary. Four years later in 2003, a judge sent him to prison for receiving stolen property evading arrest and driving under the influence. Galarza was on parole in 2006 when police arrested him for evading arrest and driving under the influence.

Defense Attorney Erin Ormonde reviewed the cases against Galarza and gave us her opinion. Ormonde says, "The circumstance are really dangerous, just from what I've heard ? what the courts are concerned about and what the state is concerned is how dangerous is this person to society. That is their number one concern."

Ormonde believes a judge will come down hard on a man who twice was arrested while on parole. He also faces drug charges for being high on meth.

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