Man wrecks borrowed car after fleeing from police

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – Deandre Daniel Casillas, 19, faces numerous charges after allegedly fleeing from police in a borrowed car and then wrecking it off Sanchez Road. 

According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, on Jan. 11, a deputy observed Casillas traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 70 at about 5:30 p.m. and knew he had an active warrant for his arrest for failing to appear in court regarding a charge of driving on a suspended license as well as a separate driving on a suspended license charge. 

Casillas’ license was suspended following a DUI conviction in 2019 and again, subsequently, for tampering with an ignition interlock device conviction in 2020. 

The officer followed Casillas as the suspect drove to the Circle K at 1542 E. U.S. Highway 70. There, the deputy positively identified Casillas as he walked to the southeast corner of the store. Casillas then walked back to his car and sped eastbound on Highway 70. 

The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop after he noticed Casillas following too close to a vehicle in front of him, however, Casillas failed to yield and instead turned northbound onto a farm road between two cotton fields. 

Casillas allegedly traveled at about 70 mph on the farm road and eventually turned onto Sanchez Road and crossed the bridge. Near Airport Road, Casillas apparently ran off the road and collided with five mailboxes.

He continued eastbound, however, for about another mile before wrecking on the south side of the roadway, according to the report. 

Upon contact, Casillas complained of abdominal pain and paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance responded and transported him to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for treatment. Prior to transport, however, a glass meth pipe was removed from Casillas’ pants pocket. 

While at the scene, the owner of the vehicle showed up and acknowledged that Casillas had taken his car without asking but that he didn’t call the police because he didn’t want Casillas to get into trouble. 

The officer later went to the hospital to speak to Casillas, however, he was advised that the hospital had released him. 

On Jan. 14 – after receiving a warrant – a deputy retrieved blood samples from Casillas the hospital had previously obtained. The samples will be sent to an Arizona Department of Public Safety laboratory for analysis. 

Currently, Casillas is still wanted on his two misdemeanor warrants and is facing charges of failure to yield, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, and criminal damage, among other possible charges.  

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