Grover Beach man allegedly takes off pants while running from officers

The CHP arrested a Grover Beach man Tuesday morning near the border of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties after a messy tussle in which he allegedly took off his pants.

Two CHP officers received a call at 2:20 a.m. about a single-vehicle collision involving a 2009 Suburu Outback on Highway 166 just west of Cottonwood Canyon.

Diane Dunklin, 49, of Bakersfield, identified herself as the Outback’s driver.

But her passenger, 33-year-old Angel Torres of Grover Beach, initially provided a false name, the CHP said, and refused orders to remove his hands from his pockets.

When Officer Ryan Witcher attempted to pat him down for weapons, Torres took off running with both officers in pursuit on foot, according to the CHP.

Torres allegedly scaled a barbed-wire fence and crossed the Cuyama River, the CHP said, taking off his pants and throwing them away after climbing out on the other side.

Witcher eventually caught up with Torres, the CHP said, and the Grover Beach man tried to hit and kick the officer. Witcher responded by striking Torres with his baton, knocking him into the water and spraying pepper spray in his face — finally incapacitating him.

Torres was "in his boxer shorts, T-shirt and socks, head-to-toe in mud," according to Rob Wallace, public information officer with the CHP’s Santa Maria office.

The CHP found identification in Torres’ pants and determined he was a parolee at large with outstanding warrants issued by the state Department of Corrections and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

Torres was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance — namely hashish — as well as possessing drug paraphernalia and illegal prescription drugs, resisting arrest and providing a false name to a peace officer.

The CHP arrested Dunklin on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, a felony, and illegal prescription drugs.