Monterey Police car

It started out routinely enough. At around 10:30am on Tuesday, May 11, Monterey Police detectives observed a white BMW with stolen license plates parked on Alcalde Avenue off North Fremont, and a man and a woman who were removing belongings from the car.

About two hours later, police officers contacted the driver, the same woman they'd seen earlier. She refused to comply and fled the scene. Officers began a pursuit but quickly called it off after the driver became erratic, according to the Monterey Police Department. 

But officers were still waiting for the man they'd seen with her at the car that morning, and soon saw him leaving a nearby motel room. They approached him and he ran, but police caught up and arrested 33-year-old Corey Duncan of Santa Cruz. 

Duncan was arrested on charges of resisting arrest, possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and identity theft. He was handcuffed and seated in a police car and on his way to the jail in Monterey. 

The story might have ended there. But according to Monterey Police Lt. Michael Bruno, Duncan was able to get his handcuffs in front of his body, and from there, escaped from the police car while it was moving slowly in traffic near Fremont and Abrego Street.

The officer ditched his patrol car and chased Duncan on foot, but here's a twist—before apprehending Duncan, Duncan made his way back to the police car. And he got in it and drove away, up the hill toward Veterans Park. 

Another officer nearby saw Duncan flee and began a pursuit, but lost sight of Duncan's getaway a few minutes later not far from the park. The stolen police car was soon located near Veterans Park—without Duncan in it, and with nothing inside the car damaged or stolen.

With Duncan at large, next came a team effort between Monterey Police, Pacific Grove Police, California Highway Patrol and the Monterey County Sheriff's Office as they established a large perimeter to search for Duncan. As a precautionary measure, Monterey High School and Colton Middle School were placed on lockdown. 

"Somebody saw him running in handcuffs, so we got a call. That's how we knew he was in that area," Bruno says.

Then came another neighbor phone call, from someone who was at home and heard footsteps on their roof. Officers located Duncan between Veterans Park and the Presidio of Monterey, hiding on a rooftop near the top of Jefferson Street. He again ran from police, but was quickly apprehended. 

He was transported to Monterey County Jail in Salinas. He would have been released on a ticket for a series of zero-bail charges, but Monterey Police petitioned a judge for a bail enhancement, so Duncan is being held on $500,000 bail. 

As for the driver of the BMW with stolen plates? Bruno says police know her identity and are working to capture her. The BMW has been located and recovered. (It was parked in a resident's designated spot in Del Rey Oaks, and they called in the unauthorized use of their parking spot.) 

Nobody was injured beyond minor scratches, Bruno reports. 

"We'll be looking at the incident to see what we could've done better," Bruno adds. "Obviously we don't want people escaping from our vehicle. We're just glad that nobody was seriously hurt and we were able to take him into custody."

Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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