Suspects in police chase identified

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Manuelita Aguilar, left, was identified as the driver of the vehicle, and Aaliyah Palacio, right, as her passenger with a warrant.

Two women booked into jail

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – The two suspects who led police on a high-speed chase before crashing have been identified as driver Manuelita Manuela Aguilar, 31, of Willcox, and passenger Aaliyah Kristine Palacio, 25, of Solomon.

Aguilar was wanted for failure to pay previous fines, and Palacio was wanted for failing to pay fines regarding a guilty shoplifting charge. She also failed to appear in Casa Grande Justice Court regarding a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and was on probation regarding a 2019 conviction for possession of a dangerous drug.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Manuelita Aguilar

According to a Safford Police news release, officers engaged in a high-speed chase Wednesday afternoon after a vehicle failed to pull over for police.

Due to safety concerns, officers terminated the pursuit just south of Jo-Bi Convenience Market at 4520 S. U.S. Highway 191 and instead continued to follow from a distance.

The suspects’ vehicle continued southbound on the highway, swerving in and out of the center turn lane, according to the release.

The driver of the vehicle, Aguilar, lost control and spun into the dirt but continued east on Roper Lake Road.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Aaliyah Palacio

Officers headed down Stockton road on an intercept course, and the vehicle got stuck in a dirt berm just south of Swift Trail (Highway 366) on Stockton Road.

Aguilar was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on charges of unlawful flight from pursuing law enforcement, aggressive driving, reckless driving, and driving on a suspended license. Palacio was booked into jail on her warrant.