A mentally ill San Mateo man pled guilty yesterday to charges of evading an officer and assault with a deadly weapon, after he stole a police vehicle and led the San Mateo Police Department on a high speed chase down El Camino Real last November.

The defendant, Enoch Gonzales, 26, was released yesterday on punishment for time served, after remaining in the county jail since Nov. 23 of last year.

He previously pled not guilty by reason of insanity.

Gonzales, who has a history of drug use and mental illness, got in an argument with his friends about their dog on Beresford Court. Gonzales took the dog from their backyard for a walk without notifying his friends, who confronted him in front of their house, according to police reports.

An argument ensued and Gonzales grabbed the necklaces from the neck of one of his friends.

An officer arrived on the scene and tried to intervene, and Gonzales jumped in the police car and drove away.

A second officer pursued Gonzales along El Camino to San Carlos before Gonzales made a u-turn and the officer broadsided the police vehicle and forced Gonzales to a stop.

Another police car blocked Gonzales to the front, and Gonzales rammed into the second police vehicle.

The officers arrested Gonzales and took him into custody, according to police reports.

"It was fortunate that no one got hurt here. The officer had some minor injuries, but it could have been worse," said Sgt. Hugh Wilkins of the San Mateo Police Department.

Wilkins said this was the first time a police vehicle has been stolen in his twenty years at the department.

The police department said Gonzales had alcohol in his system. Gonzales said he had done drugs that day, although that claim was later found to be untrue, according to Geoff Carr, Gonzales's defense attorney.

Gonzales has been in and out of mental institutions and on medications for having paranoid responses, delusions, and hearing voices, according to Carr.

He has held odd jobs, but has been largely unable to work since he was 21-years old. Carr said he is asking for psychiatric counseling as a condition of his release. "With people like this we have to take a paternal view," Carr said. "We like to see him not just get punished but get better."

Carr said he has seen Gonzales improve a lot in the past year, since he was on psychotropic medication and received psychiatric treatment in Santa Clara during his time in jail.

Gonzales is expected to return to his family in Stockton.

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