On 12/20/2021, at 12:02 a.m. the Chico Police Department received a 911 call from a resident at 2534 North Avenue indicating a vehicle had just crashed into their apartment building. The first Officer arrived on scene within two minutes and contacted the driver of the vehicle. The driver attempted to tell the Officer that the actual driver of the vehicle fled the scene on foot, when in all actuality he was the driver. The driver, identified as Javier Mojica, was ultimately arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Officers heard gas leaking from gas lines where the vehicle struck the building. Evacuations began and the apartment building was completely evacuated within minutes. North Avenue and East Avenue were closed for a short time frame as evacuations and emergency personnel attended to the scene. While the roadway was closed, another driver, identified as Robert Garcia, went around an Officers patrol car that was blocking East Avenue. Garcia was stopped by an Officer and after a series of field sobriety tests, he was also arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Personnel from the Chico Fire Department responded and turned off the gas to the building within 12 minutes after the initial collision. Employees from PG&E, as well as the City of Chico Building Department, responded to the scene. One bedroom within an apartment in the complex was determined to be unsafe but the remaining residents were allowed back into their homes approximately 45 minutes after the initial report. PG&E was continuing to work on restoring gas to the apartment complex after emergency personnel cleared the scene.
Mojica and Garcia were both booked into the Butte County Jail for the violation of 23152 CVC, driving under the influence.
Location: 2534 North Avenue
Date/Time: 12/20/2021 / 0002 Hours
Victim: State of California
Suspect: Javier Mojica
Supervisor: Peter Durfee, Sergeant
Watch Commander: Mike Rodden, Lieutenant