CASA GRANDE — A Casa Grande man is facing charges after he allegedly led police officers on a pursuit and then hid in a cotton field.

According to Pinal County Superior Court records, Francisco Diego, 35, is charged with unlawful flight from law enforcement, prohibited possession of a weapon and reckless driving.

At 12:11 a.m. on Sept. 26, a Casa Grande Police officer spotted a white truck swerving in its lane, crossing the yellow line twice and possibly making contact with a curb.

The driver of the truck, later identified as Diego, failed to stop for the officer and accelerated to 70 mph while driving east on Cottonwood Lane.

Diego then allegedly tried to turn north into a cotton field and struck a concrete ditch. He then allegedly fled on foot into the field. The officer was unable to locate him at that time but did find Diego’s wallet, a gun and about a gram of methamphetamine in the abandoned truck.

Diego was arrested at a later date at a family member’s home on an outstanding warrant. Diego denied being involved in a pursuit with officers.

The vehicle owner’s wife allegedly told officers that Diego had asked her to lie about who was driving the truck that night because he was drunk. He also allegedly told a coworker that he had been in a pursuit with police that night and hid in a cotton field for three hours before returning home.

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.

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