CAPITOLA -- An armed parolee who fled from deputies Sunday after crashing a stolen truck in Soquel and robbing a man at gunpoint in Watsonville was caught Monday morning. But only after breaking away from a police officer about 1 a.m. and spending several hours in a tree in the Capitola Village area.
A sheriff's deputy and SWAT team member finally talked the man down from his leafy perch behind the former Capitola Theater about 7 a.m., sheriff's Sgt. Steve Carney said.
"He was about 150 feet up and refused to come down," Carney said. "So we had a potentially armed guy up in a tree, but one of our tactical guys was able to talk him down. Capitola PD had dialogued with him for several hours; I think he was just getting tired."
Joseph Louie Farrell, 35, of Modesto appeared to be under the influence and his behavior was erratic at times, Carney said.
He was arrested on suspicion of robbery, auto theft, brandishing a gun and resisting arrest, he said.
The hunt for Farrell began about 11:45 a.m. Sunday, when Watsonville police were called to an alley behind the 100 block of Elm Street, Sgt. Brian Ridgway said.
Police were told that a man driving a blue Ford truck drove up to some bystanders and asked for gas money, Ridgway said.
The man then struck a car, brandished a dark-colored revolver at the driver and fled with his cell phone and money, Ridgway said.
Police realized the truck was stolen out of the San Mateo area and broadcast a lookout for it.
About 1 p.m. Sunday, deputies were called to the 800 block of Glen Haven Road in Soquel where the same truck had collided with a fence and a propane tank, police said.
The driver again had brandished a black handgun at someone before fleeing on foot, Ridgway said.
Sheriff's Sgt. Robin Mitchell said deputies searched the area for about three hours with help from Capitola police, the California Highway Patrol and a K-9 unit.
About 1 a.m. Sunday, a Capitola officer spotted Farrell sitting in a compact car on Cliff Avenue with two women, he said.
He somehow broke away from the officer and fled down the hill above Capitola Village, hiding in the brush and then climbing a tree, perhaps after K-9s began searching the area, Carney said.
Farrell did not have the gun when he climbed down the tree and officers are still searching for it, Carney said.
The women in the car -- Maryellen Klee, 32, and Gloria Aguilar, 37, of the Central Valley -- were arrested for outstanding warrants.
Officers found a mask and burglary tools in the car and are investigating whether the trio is responsible for any other crimes, including an auto burglary in Aptos that occurred Sunday night, Carney said.
Sheriff's deputies ask anyone with information to call in investigations at 454-2311 or the anonymous tip line at 454-2847.
Follow Sentinel reporter Cathy Kelly on Twitter @cathykelly9.
Copyright 2012 - Santa Cruz Sentinel, Calif.