(CNS) – A 31-year-old man who allegedly led police on a lengthy foot pursuit that traversed a grocery store roof and a hiking trail in Palm Springs pleaded not guilty Wednesday to burglary and other counts.
Julian Baez was charged along with Sandra Lee Pritchard, 21, with one felony count of burglary and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, according to court records. Baez was additionally charged with a second misdemeanor count of resisting arrest and two felony counts, one each of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and resisting or deterring an officer.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Wednesday afternoon. Pritchard posted $2,500 bail on Monday, according to inmate records, and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Larson Justice Center on Nov. 2.
At 11:30 a.m. Monday, a homeowner reported a possible burglary after receiving a security camera alert of a man going in and out of a vacant rental property in the 2100 block of Bob O Link Lane, according to the Palm Springs Police Department.
When officers arrived, they saw a man and woman running away. Pritchard was arrested in the backyard of the property, but the man ran toward the Vons store at the Rimrock Shopping Center at 4733 E. Palm Canyon Drive, according to police.
Baez climbed to the roof of the grocery store, and nearby construction workers used a lift to help officers get on the roof to continue the chase, police said.
Customers were evacuated from the store as officers searched crawl spaces and the attic, but Baez eluded the search and made his way on foot toward a hillside trail and RV park, according to police. A California Highway Patrol fixed-wing aircraft and the Riverside County sheriff’s helicopter crew helped to locate Baez as he tried to climb a steep hill.
Baez allegedly threw rocks and boulders at pursuing officers as he climbed the hill, but he was arrested around 2:40 p.m. after trying to hide in a crevice, police said.
He was checked at a hospital, and was booked at around 11 p.m. into the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio, where he remains in jail without bail.
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