Man flees carpool violation stop

March 13, 2009 12:58:30 PM PDT
Authorities this morning are searching for a man who ran from a California Highway Patrol officer after being pulled over for a carpool violation in Palo Alto, CHP Officer Grace Castillo said.

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The CHP officer stopped the car, a white 2003 Chevy Avalanche, in the area of northbound Highway 101 and Embarcadero Road around 7:50 a.m.

When the officer approached the car to inform the driver of why he had been pulled over, he noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and began to question the driver, Castillo said.

"The driver began to become a little antsy," Castillo said.

The officer noticed the man was reaching for a red backpack, and told him to keep his hands where he could see them. Instead, the driver grabbed the backpack and exited the car, Castillo said.

He walked toward the officer, prompting the officer to deploy a Taser gun, Castillo said. She did not know whether the driver was hit but said he then ran into some nearby bushes and disappeared.

As of about 8:45 a.m., authorities were still searching an area along the highway between Embarcadero Road and Oregon Expressway, Castillo said.

The man is described as Hispanic and in his early to mid-30s. He was wearing blue jeans and a red sweatshirt and was carrying the backpack, Castillo said.

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