FOUNTAIN VALLEY – A car chase ended in a water hazard between the 15th and 17th holes at a golf course at Mile Square Park on Monday.
At 11:18 a.m., patrol officers near Harbor Boulevard and Heil Avenue saw a man driving a Jeep Cherokee into the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store. One officer walked up to talk to the man, later identified as parolee Mario Gam Acevedo, but he quickly drove off, said Sgt. Tony Luce of the Fountain Valley Police Department.
Acevedo, 34, of Santa Ana drove the car – which had been reported stolen – over the landscaped parkway and sidewalk westbound onto Heil.
Officers chased Acevedo on Heil until he got to Euclid Avenue and drove over the curb onto Mile Square Park. He continued to cut through the park before crashing through a fence into the David L. Baker Memorial Golf Course.
Jim Sanders was teeing off with his friend, Jim Craft, on the 17th hole when the Cherokee careened by.
“He hit a bunker and tore up the 15th green and wound up in the lake,” Sanders said.
Police confirmed that Acevedo’s car wound up in the water hazard and he tried to run away. Sanders said Acevedo was tackled by another golfer and held until police arrived.
Luce said officers found a “significant amount” of narcotics in Acevedo’s pants, a replica firearm and burglary tools inside the car. He was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries he sustained in the crash.
Court records show that Acevedo has an extensive criminal background. Most recently, he was found guilty in May 2014 of felony burglary and theft with a prior conviction of taking a vehicle.