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ELOY — A Casa Grande man is facing charges after he allegedly grabbed the steering wheel and caused a vehicle he was riding in to crash.

According to Pinal County Superior Court records, Chase N. Carmen, 20, is charged with aggravated assault and two counts of endangerment.

At 3:22 a.m. on Oct. 30, Eloy Police responded to a single-vehicle accident near Sunshine Boulevard and Battaglia Road. Two people at the scene of the accident told officers that Carmen was riding in the front passenger seat of his own vehicle when he reached out to grab the leg of the woman who was driving the vehicle.

The woman told him to stop because the gesture was unwanted and because it made her swerve the vehicle.

Carmen allegedly told the woman that if she wanted the vehicle to swerve he would make it swerve. He allegedly grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it to the right. The driver lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over and then crashed into an empty ditch, landing on its roof.

Carmen and one of the passengers in the back seat fled the scene. The driver and another backseat passenger stayed at the scene.

The driver had minor injuries and soreness. One backseat passenger had minor injuries to the face and the second backseat passenger had a collapsed lung.

On Nov. 11, Carmen came to the Eloy Police Department and spoke with officers. He reportedly told them that he was intoxicated at the time and could not remember what happened. He was taken into custody and booked into the county jail.

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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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