Racine police say a 19-year-old man is facing charges after he struck a squad car and then led police on a chase through the city and into Mount Pleasant.

Jesus Salinas, of Racine, was charged Monday with one felony count of fleeing or eluding a police officer and a misdemeanor count of hit-and-run of an attended vehicle. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison and/or up to $11,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer was parked and inside their squad Friday in the 1000 block of Main Street when they observed a vehicle approaching so they waited until the car passed to open their door. As the car passed, it struck the squad’s side mirror.

Police say they attempted to initial a traffic stop, but the driver – later identified as Salinas – fled the scene after first pulling over. Officers gave chase, but Salinas did not stop, instead heading south on Main Street, past 14th Street going the wrong way on a one-way street, east on 16th, south on Wisconsin and then right on 21st Street. Salinas did not successfully negotiate the turn and ran into a light pole.

The defendant continued driving west until he got to Racine Street when he turned left into oncoming traffic before making his way onto Sheridan Road in Mount Pleasant. Salinas finally had to stop because of the heavy damage to the front end of his vehicle, the complaint reads.

When police made contact with him at the traffic stop, Salinas was taken into custody on a possible operating while intoxicated and eluding an officer. When police asked him where he was going and why he didn’t stop, Salinas said, “I don’t know why I didn’t stop. It was a bad decision … I don’t know where I was going.”

He remains in the Racine County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond. Salinas will next be in court March 2 for his preliminary hearing.

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