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Woman crashes after ditching phony car sale

March 12, 2010 1:30:55 PM PST
A woman was arrested by Healdsburg police on Wednesday after she allegedly pretended to sell her car to a man for cash and then tried to drive off with the money.

Officers responded to a report of a traffic incident in the 100 block of Healdsburg Avenue near Exchange Avenue at around 1:50 p.m., according to Healdsburg police.

Arriving officers found a man lying in the roadway with severe injuries. Witnesses told police in appeared the man had been assaulting a woman while driving, which caused their vehicle to swerve out of control and crash into an oncoming truck. The man, who was identified at the time as Jesus Espinoza, apparently fell out of the vehicle and was hit by the truck.

He was taken to a hospital. The woman was injured during the assault and was also taken to a hospital.

Investigators later learned that the man identified as Espinoza was actually 24-year-old Jose Nieto. The woman claiming to be a victim of domestic violence was identified as 20-year-old Patricia Manning.

Manning had allegedly tried to sell her car to Nieto, and during the transaction she attempted to drive off with his money. Nieto tried to stop her and was hanging on to the moving vehicle when they crashed into the truck, police said.

Manning was arrested for grand theft and violation of probation and booked at Sonoma County jail. Her bail was set at $5,000.


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