MENDOCINO Co., 12/27/16 — This one is a little odd, apparently the Ridgewood Grade was the site of what seems like a post-Christmas, half-hearted car chase yesterday, Dec. 26. Today the California Highway Patrol released a report about the chase, and Officer Kyler Adams of the CHP provided a few extra details. And this might not be the first time the suspect has led the police on a chase.
Yesterday at about 4:30pm CHP dispatch advised officers to be on the lookout for a silver Toyota Tacoma, driving erratically southbound from Willits on Hwy. 101. One Officer Lewis of the CHP located the vehicle north of the intersection with Ridgewood Rd. (the turn off for the Golden Rule R.V. Park). Lewis saw that the vehicle was indeed driving erratically and tried to initiate a traffic stop. At this point the driver, Jesus Garcia of Eureka, allegedly refused to stop, made obscene gestures, but apparently didn’t speed up. He continued to drive at regular speeds. As Officer Adams explained, “Wasn’t a high speed pursuit, he was just cruising.”
From the description given it sounds less like fleeing per se than just continuing to drive in the same direction.
Lewis radioed ahead, and CHP Officer Marin, who was at the bottom of the grade, deployed a spike strip across both lanes of traffic, somewhere around the Coyote Valley Casino.
When Garcia approached the spike strip he simply came to a stop and parked in front of it, but still allegedly refused to exit his car. CHP officers then removed him from his car, as he continued to resist. He was booked at the Mendocino County Jail for a misdemeanor charge of “OBEDIENCE TO TRAFFIC OFFICERS-FAIL OR REFUSE TO COMPLY,” on a bond of $10,000. His name and information was put into the booking log, but his picture was unavailable.
The reason for this leisurely flight from the police is unclear. The CHP officers on the scene deemed that Garcia was no under the influence of any drug or alcohol, and nothing incriminating was found in his car. As Kyler put it, “It’s kind of a mystery.” Adding, “Other than the fact that he didn’t want to stop and he was un cooperative this could’ve all been avoided...didn’t seem like he was in that mood.”
Kym Kemp, over at our sister site Redheaded Blackbelt, made the connection that this man is probably the same man that led the police on a chase through Ukiah about five years ago, he has the same name, is the same age, and the same town.
Here is the text from the CHP’s report:
On 12-26-2016, at approximately 1630 hours, CHP dispatch advised of a "Be on the Lookout" for a possible drunk driver. The suspect vehicle, a silver Toyota Tacoma, was reported driving erratically on US-101 S/B from SR-20. Officer Lewis intersected the vehicle on US-101 S/B north of the Ridgewood Ranch Rd. Officer Lewis observed the vehicle driving erratically and attempted to initiate a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle. The driver, who was later identified as Jesus Garcia Jr, failed to yield and continued to travel S/B on US-101. Garcia made obscene hand gestures out the driver's side window at pursuing Officers. CHP Officer Marin deployed a spike strip in front of Garcia's vehicle, which caused Garcia to stop his vehicle prior to driving over the spike strip. Garcia still refused to follow Officers instructions and resisted arrest, Garcia was taken into custody and booked at the Mendocino County Jail for charges of 2800(a) VC- failure to yield.
This arrest is still under investigation, Drugs and alcohol were not a factor in this incident.