Crime

Grover Beach man who led CHP car chase off a mountainside makes court appearance

The man accused of leading police on a dramatic car chase last week that California Highway Patrol called “one for the books” appeared in court Wednesday after after being charged with several felonies.

Joshua Anthony Jordan of Grover Beach pleaded not guilty in San Luis Obispo Superior Court to felony charges of unlawful taking of a vehicle, evading an officer with willful disregard and receiving stolen property, as well as misdemeanor counts of resisting a peace officer.

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San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office

The District Attorney’s Office is also alleging that Jordan has two prior felony convictions in Kern and San Luis Obispo counties from 2014 and 2017, respectively. Court records show that Jordan served time in state prison for assaulting a police officer or fireman with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.

It was not immediately clear Thursday afternoon what Jordan, 40, faces if convicted on all charges.

His court-appointed public defender, Pierre Blahnik, did not return a request for comment.

Jordan remains in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $90,000 bail as he awaits another court appearance Aug. 15, according to court records.

The chase began on the afternoon of Aug. 2 when the CHP was notified by Pismo Beach police of a possibly stolen black Ford pickup traveling southbound on Highway 101 in Nipomo.

The driver sped away from officers attempting to conduct a stop and drove onto 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 to track the vehicle.

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

During the second attempt, the driver purposely drove down a 2,000-foot embankment next to the road, eventually crashing into a dry creek bed below.

The CHP alleges Jordan then fled the truck on foot down the creek bed, and hid in a clump of trees.

He was eventually taken into custody by officers who had to hike him back up the steep embankment to the road above.

The CHP’s Coastal Division Air Operations captured the chase on video.

“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,” a CHP Facebook post read.

Tribune Staff Writer Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this report.

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