Man who fled from cops ruled unfit for trial

A man who said he was being chased by Russians after leading Menlo Park police on a car chase was found unfit to stand trial Friday , the district attorney said.


Richard Joseph Espinoza, 40, of Bay Point, is accused of stealing an iPad from a Facebook bus driver queuing up to take employees home June 28, 2016, then speeding so recklessly in a vehicle across the Dumbarton Bridge that police gave up the chase when he reached the Fremont side.

The bus driver said Espinoza appeared to be holding a gun when he demanded the iPad, but police never located a gun during or after the pursuit. While fleeing, Espinoza rear-ended a vehicle and hit the center divider, according to police.

Roughly 30 minutes later, Union City police received a report of a possible carjacking and located Espinoza and a 38-year-old female passenger, who were apprehended after a foot chase. At the time of the incident, county prosecutors said Espinoza was on bail for two 2015 cases out of San Mateo — one for possession of methamphetamine and the other for grand theft.

In court Friday, Judge Donald Ayoob declared Espinoza not competent to stand trial, after two doctors assigned to evaluate him in April reached that conclusion. After the ruling, Espinoza requested a new attorney, but District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said there is no reason to provide him with a new attorney.

Espinoza was charged July 5, 2016, with robbery, evading police and hit-and-run involving injury, all felonies. He was also charged with driving under the influence with a…

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