12/25/2013

Calif. chief helps chase down carjack suspect

Oakland's Interim Chief Sean Whent was in an unmarked Tahoe with his spokeswoman when they heard the radio call

By Henry Lee
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — Oakland's top cop helped chase down a carjacking suspect on Christmas Eve, police said.

Interim Chief Sean Whent was driving an unmarked Chevrolet Tahoe with his spokeswoman, Officer Johnna Watson, when they heard a call on the radio about a carjacked vehicle being spotted by an officer.

Whent and Watson sped to the 1600 block of 35th Avenue, where they saw Officer Melissa Baddie behind a Toyota RAV4 that had been stolen in San Francisco and was involved in several Oakland robberies, Watson said.

Baddie was holding a woman at gunpoint, and three other suspects had already fled from the SUV, Watson said.

As the chief and Watson got out of their car, a man suddenly ran out of the SUV and away from the officers, police said.

That's when the 39-year-old chief and Officers Chris Eggers and John Romero began chasing the man on foot, Watson said.

"He stayed up with the suspect and the other officers," Watson said of the chief.

Watson, meanwhile, said she hopped into a marked patrol vehicle to try to cut off the suspect.

The suspect ran into a home's yard and, as officers were setting up a perimeter, emerged from another side of the house, and a second foot chase ensued, with the chief again among those in pursuit, Watson said.

The officers caught up with the suspect, who was stunned with a Taser by Eggers after the suspect refused orders to stop, police said.

Whent helped secure the man and then returned to where the RAV4 was stopped to handcuff the woman, Watson said.

Officers retraced the man's path and found a loaded pistol and a cell phone he had discarded, Watson said.

The three other suspects who had fled from the RAV4 — two men and a woman — were also arrested. Their names were not immediately released.

"It was good communication, good coordination and good teamwork," Watson said.

Copyright 2013 the San Francisco Chronicle


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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