Crime

He led CHP on a chase from Nipomo to the middle of nowhere — then drove off a mountain

California Highway Patrol arrested a man Friday afternoon who attempted to evade officers in a dramatic car chase off Highway 166 that culminated in the driver speeding down a 2,000-foot mountainside before crashing at the bottom of a ravine.

According to a Facebook post from CHP’s Coastal Division Air Operations on Friday evening, CHP was first notified by Pismo Beach Police of a possible stolen black Ford pickup traveling southbound on Highway 101 in Nipomo.

When they tried to stop the truck, the driver sped away in the vehicle to Highway 166 and then Forest Road 32S13 (also known as old Sierra Madre Road) in the Los Padres National Forest, CHP said.

A CHP airplane on patrol and a CHP helicopter from Paso Robles both also responded to the chase, and began tracking the vehicle.

According to the post, the CHP helicopter crew used its public address system to try to convince the driver to give in to officers, since the road he was on dead ended, and he was being pursed by two patrol cars and two aircraft.

The driver apparently ignored them and evaded two CHP attempts to use a spike strip to stop his vehicle.

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A CHP airplane on patrol and a CHP helicopter from Paso Robles both also responded to the chase, and began tracking the vehicle. CHP -Coastal Division Air Operations

During the second attempt, the driver purposely drove down the 2,000 foot embankment next to the road, eventually crashing into the dry creek bed at the bottom of the ravine, according to the post.

But he wasn’t done yet.

According to the Facebook post, the driver abandoned the truck, fled on foot down the riverbed and hid in a clump of trees.

The aircraft above kept a close eye on his movements, and helped direct the officers on the ground to his hiding spot.

CHP said at that point, two officers narrowed in on the man but he “refused to give up.”

Finally, as the officers got closer, the man “submitted to arrest,” according to the post.

“The four then had the arduous task of hiking all the way back up the steep embankment to the road,” read the Facebook post, which as of Friday night had more than 210 reactions.

“The arrest of the driver was the result of extraordinary teamwork between CHP ground and aerial units, and the exceptional training and skills of everyone involved,” concluded the post.

CHP did not release the man’s name.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.
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