UNION CITY (CBS SF) — Fremont Police arrested a suspect late Wednesday who had stolen a vehicle, abandoned the still-moving car and fought with officers in Union City, but were forced to cite and release him due to current judicial orders keeping suspects out of custody over coronavirus concerns.

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On Wednesday at around 11:19 p.m., a resident off Pennsylvania Avenue called police to report his car had just been stolen. Responding officers spotted the vehicle on northbound 880 just before the Alvarado Niles Boulevard exit in Union City.

Car theft suspect Jonathan Reyes (Fremont Police)

As officers pulled behind the vehicle, the suspect got off the freeway at the Alvarado Niles Boulevard exit and jumped out of the car as it was still rolling. The unoccupied vehicle was still in gear and rolled back towards the southbound 880 on-ramp, down the embankment and eventually ended up back on the freeway and across lanes, stopping on the left shoulder when it collided into the center divider. Luckily, the unmanned vehicle did not cause an accident on the freeway and no one was injured.

Car allegedly stolen by suspect Jonathan Reyes (Fremont Police)

Officers reached the suspect who had fled on foot down the northbound 880 embankment. He briefly fought with officers before being taken into custody with Union City Police and CHP Officers arrived shortly after to assist.

The suspect was identified as 23-year-old transient Jonathan Reyes, who is known to frequent the Fremont and Union City area. Reyes was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, hit and run, and resisting arrest. The vehicle’s ignition was found to be tampered with.

He is currently on probation in Alameda County for disturbing the peace and has prior theft and drug arrests in Alameda County as well as in Arizona. However, due to the Judicial Council of California orders mandating $0 bail for suspects committing misdemeanors and low-level felonies in an effort to reduce inmate risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, officers were forced to issue Reyes a citation in the field and let him go.

Law enforcement agencies across the state are now releasing criminals they say should stay behind bars.

Last weekend, a carjacking suspect was arrested 35 minutes after being released from the Alameda County Jail for stealing another car.

Reyes is scheduled to appear in court in June.

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