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[whitespace] Police pursuit ends in arrests

Campbell--Two men involved in a police pursuit were booked into Santa Clara County Jail early Wednesday morning thanks to the work of several Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies and one Campbell police officer.

Joseph John Trapani, 36, a transient, and Patrick Joseph McCauley, 34, of San Jose, were apprehended following a 25-minute police chase through the streets of Willow Glen and Campbell. Trapani, the driver of a white, bakery-style delivery truck, was charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon after busting through a barricade of two Sheriff's vehicles and veering toward a Campbell police officer. No one was injured.

Trapani was being held in Santa Clara County Jail at press time Nov. 18. McCauley, a passenger in the truck, was taken into custody for being under the influence of an illegal stimulant believed to be methamphetamine, according to Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Hirokawa. McCauley was cited with a misdemeanor and released on grounds he would return for a court appearance.

Deputies received a call at about 12:45 a.m. from a resident who reported a suspicious person "acting bizarre and carrying a piggy bank" in the middle of Willow Street near Norman Avenue. When the deputies arrived at the caller's home, they were told the suspect was seen walking with another man on Willow Street. Deputies eventually located the two suspects and the vehicle, which had the name "Jet Linen" painted on the side and lacked license plates and tail lights.

"They [the deputies] tried to make a vehicle stop, and the truck failed to stop," Hirokawa said. "Then [the suspects] started making U-turns up and down Willow."

Tailed by several police cars, Trapani headed down nearby streets, eventually turning into a street blockaded by two deputies' cars. But the truck rammed through the blockade and hit the vehicles as it continued eastbound on Willow Creek Drive toward Meridian Avenue. Campbell police officer Joseph Cefalu responded by laying down spike strips to disable the truck, which was traveling at 35 to 40 mph.

According to Hirokawa, Trapani, in an attempt to avoid the spikes, drove onto the northwest sidewalk and straight toward Cefalu, who was standing on a grassy area on the corner of Willow Creek and Meridian. Cefalu grabbed his service weapon and fired two shots, hitting the truck twice on the driver's side. Trapani headed toward a tree, then suddenly stopped short and was immediately surrounded by deputies and police. The chase had finally ended at about 1:10 a.m.

Hirokawa said the investigation is still pending. He said it is unknown whether the van was stolen or borrowed, why Trapani drove up the sidewalk, what was inside the piggy bank, or why the suspects fled the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Michael Flood or Sgt. Jose Salcido at 408.299.2211.
Genevieve Roja

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Web extra to the November 24-December 1, 1999 issue of Metro.

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