Crime

Pismo Beach police make arrests after traffic stop, foot pursuit

Three people were arrested following a traffic stop that turned into a pursuit Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, in Pismo Beach, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Three people were arrested following a traffic stop that turned into a pursuit Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, in Pismo Beach, according to the California Highway Patrol. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Update, 11 p.m.

The Pismo Beach Police Department has released additional details about a traffic stop that led to multiple arrests Friday afternoon.

About 3:24 p.m., an officer attempted to pull a vehicle over on the 600 block of James Way in Pismo Beach, according to a department news release.

Two people jumped out of the vehicle and fled, while the driver sped away, police said.

The driver, 28-year-old Stephen Chargin, has several felony warrants issued for his arrest, police said.

Officers did not immediately pursue Chargin because he was “driving at a high rate of speed in a busy residential area,” according to the news release.

Police said Chargin crashed the vehicle into a tree on the 100 block of Karen Way and then fled the area on foot.

Officers discovered Chargin “a short time later” about a quarter-mile from the scene in a nearby area, police said.

The vehicle later was determined to be reported stolen out of Nipomo, according to the news release.

Chargin’s girlfriend, 29-year-old Jaqueline Gorham, was located at a nearby hotel; she also has several warrants for her arrest and was taken into custody, police said.

The couple’s hotel room was then searched, with officers finding stolen property from around SLO County, as well as evidence of identity theft, police said.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter, a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit and the Arroyo Grande Police Department assisted in the search.

Chargin was in custody Friday night on $100,000 bail, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Gorham was not listed in the jail’s in-custody database Friday night.

(Editor’s note: This story originally said three people had been arrested. Pismo Beach Police Sgt. Dan Herlihy offered this clarification: “There isn’t a third suspect. The male and the female who exited the vehicle prior to the suspect fleeing were determined to not be wanted or involved and were released from the scene after being interviewed by officers.”

Original story:

Three people have been taken into custody after fleeing from officers during a traffic stop in Pismo Beach on Friday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officers with the Pismo Beach Police Department spotted a car matching the description of a stolen vehicle leaving the Oxford Suites hotel on 5 Cities Drive, said CHP public information officer Jordan Richards.

As officers from the Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande police departments conducted a traffic stop with assistance from the CHP, two subjects in the car jumped out of the vehicle and the driver sped off, Richards said.

The first two subjects were arrested after “a short pursuit,” Richards said.

Richards said an officer tracked tire marks from where the fleeing car drove over a median, and witnesses eventually pointed police to the vehicle, which had crashed into a planter in a nearby residential neighborhood east of Highway 101 not far from James Way.

Officers then set up a perimeter based on statements from witnesses who saw the driver fleeing, and a CHP helicopter hovered above to assist in the search, Richards said.

Police found the driver at 3:30 p.m. hiding in a residential area behind the Orchard Supply Hardware store on North Oak Park Boulevard, Richards said.

Pismo Beach police took the driver into custody.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with a K-9 unit, public information officer Tony Cipolla said.

Mark Powell: 805-781-7915

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