Date and Time of Release: 19 September 2013
Date and Time of Incident: 17 & 18 September 2013
Subject: Felony Arrests
17 September 2013, at approx. 2:05 pm, Officers from the Sonora Police Department responded to the bus stop outside of Wal-Mart, regarding a subject threatening to damage a bus if he wasn’t provided free transportation to Tuolumne City.
When officers arrived, they contacted transit authorities, along with the suspect, who provided officers with a false name and date of birth. Transit authorities and witnesses related that when the suspect was refused a ride for free, he became verbally abusive towards the driver and made threats to burn the bus, which frightened the passengers on the bus.
As officers were placing the subject under arrest he took off running, leaving his backpack behind. A foot chase ensued through the Crossroads Shopping Center. The chase ended when the subject ran into Radio Shack and into a back store room where he became trapped.
The subject was taken into custody and identified as Jay Whittle, 30 of Mi Wuk. There was a felony warrant for Whittle’s arrest for numerous crimes, including auto theft, possession of stolen property, possession of assault weapons, possession of a loaded firearm, grand theft and evading. The warrant was the result of a high speed chase in Calaveras County a few weeks ago. Whittle is also the suspect in several other crimes in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties.
When Officers arrived back at the location where the foot pursuit had begun, they noticed that Whittle’s backpack was missing. Whittle was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked on the felony warrant and for the new felony charge of criminal threats and several misdemeanor crimes.
18 Sept. 2013, an officer returned to Wal-Mart and viewed the surveillance footage of the incident. The officer recognized the two subjects who had retrieved Whittle’s backpack and walk away with it. They were identified as Joshua Murray, 33 of Jamestown and Christopher Mills, 22 transient. Mills currently has two other active felony warrants for his arrest.
A search warrant was obtained for Murray’s Jamestown residence and served. Murray was not at his residence when the search warrant was served, but he was later taken into custody without incident. Whittle’s backpack was recovered.
Murray was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony theft with three prior convictions, felony aiding and abetting a felon, and felony conspiracy.
At this point Mills has not been located and his whereabouts is unknown.