Crime

Car chase suspect found in attic pleads not guilty to assault on officer, other charges

Dale Clayton Burr, 28, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to eight charges, including assault on an officer with a deadly weapon, fleeing police, receiving a stolen vehicle or trailer, and possession of a controlled substance.
Dale Clayton Burr, 28, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to eight charges, including assault on an officer with a deadly weapon, fleeing police, receiving a stolen vehicle or trailer, and possession of a controlled substance.

A Paso Robles man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a host of charges after he allegedly led local authorities on a Dec. 1 car chase in which he almost struck officers, escaped and was found a day later hiding in the attic of an Atascadero home.

At the time, Dale Clayton Burr, 28, was already facing 16 months in state prison for failing to appear at a sentencing hearing for a September arrest when he fled a traffic stop on foot on the Cuesta Grade and was later arrested.

On Tuesday, Burr — who has several felony and misdemeanor convictions in San Luis Obispo County, court records show — pleaded not guilty to eight felony and misdemeanor charges of assault on an officer with a deadly weapon, fleeing a peace officer, driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent, receiving a stolen vehicle or trailer, driving on a suspended license and possession of a controlled substance.

He remained in County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $70,000 bail.

On Sept. 25, Burr and Gilbert Castro, 46, of Visalia, were arrested after they allegedly fled from San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office deputies on foot after a deputy stopped their car about 11:50 a.m. on Highway 101 at TV Tower Road.

Castro was on supervised release from prison with an outstanding warrant in Tulare County, where he has since been transferred.

Burr was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of being a felon in possession of ammunition, obstructing or delaying a police officer, possession of a controlled substance and possession of more than one ounce of marijuana. His bail was set at $30,000.

He pleaded no contest in October to possessing the ammo, and the remaining charges were dismissed. Records show Burr was released from jail with a promise to appear at sentencing, where he was to begin serving 16 months in state prison. He never showed.

On Dec. 1, Atascadero police responded to an argument at an undisclosed residence and identified one of the involved people as Burr, who had a warrant out for his arrest. Burr, who was inside a vehicle with an attached trailer, began backing down the driveway and ignored officers’ commands to stop, according to the Atascadero Police Department.

An agency news release said Burr “nearly ran over” two officers before a vehicle pursuit that veered onto train tracks. Burr’s vehicle hit a fence, and he continued on foot across Highway 41 and up Pine Mountain. Authorities were unable to find him.

But the next day, acting on a tip, police found Burr hiding in the attic of a home with the help a thermal imaging device firefighters use to locate people through walls.

Prosecutors have postponed Burr’s sentencing in the September case because of the new charges. According to court records, Burr faces a maximum of about 23 years in state prison if convicted on all new charges. A trial-setting conference is scheduled for Feb. 16.

Matt Fountain: 805-781-7909, @MattFountain1

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