A motorcycle chase that led California Highway Patrol officers from Atascadero down the Cuesta Grade on Sunday reached speeds of 115 mph before ending in the rider’s arrest, the CHP said.
About 3:30 p.m., a CHP officer entering Highway 101 southbound on the Santa Rosa Road on-ramp saw a 2004 Yamaha motorcycle pass him at a “high rate of speed,” according to the CHP. The motorcycle was going 100 mph in a 65 mph zone, the CHP said, and the officer pursued the motorcyclist down 101.
The motorcyclist unsafely split lanes, used the right shoulder to pass slower vehicles, and reached speeds of 115 mph during the pursuit, the CHP said. Just five minutes after the pursuit began, CHP stopped the chase “in the interest of public safety.”
Shortly after the pursuit ended, the motorcyclist yielded to CHP officers on southbound 101 south of Hawk Hill Road, which is just south of the Cuesta Grade.
The motorcyclist was identified as Raul Mihai Pop, 25, of Anaheim, the CHP said. Pop was arrested on suspicion of felony evading and reckless driving, in addition to second-degree commercial burglary, grand theft, petty theft, felony acquisition of a stolen credit card and unauthorized use of personal identifying information, according to jail records. It’s unclear what the burglary and theft charges stem from.
Pop is being held at San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.