Meth head leads Calif. police on high-speed chase
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CHICO, Calif. — A 27-year-old man reportedly high on methamphetamine led police on a high-speed chase through two counties, ending in front of a north Chico apartment complex Friday night.
The pursuit lasted 13 minutes, reaching speeds up to 100 mph from Hamilton City to Chico before officers were ordered to back off in a residential area, authorities said.
The driver reportedly pulled over a block down the road to let an unidentified female passenger out of the car and again took off, running several stop signs in Hamilton City at speeds up to 50 mph before sliding through the intersection of Sacramento Avenue and heading east on Highway 32.
The chase continued over the Gianella Bridge into Butte County where James reportedly weaved back and forth into the oncoming lane of traffic, reaching speeds up to 100 mph. Chico police, Butte County sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol were notified as the chase continued into Chico.
From Highway 32, James turned east onto East Avenue, allegedly running red lights at speeds up to 70 mph and barely avoiding crashing into several cars turning east from The Esplanade. The driver weaved through traffic and regained speed, running another red light to turn northbound onto El Paso Way.
When the driver ran a four-way stop sign turning onto East Lassen Avenue, officers were ordered to keep the vehicle in sight, but to stop the pursuit for public safety.
Officers followed the car northbound on Burnap Avenue where the driver jumped from his vehicle and fled on foot. He was taken into custody as he tried to hide behind a truck in an apartment complex on the 2900 block.
"You have to weigh the factor of the innocent lives on the street," said Glenn County Sgt. Todd James, of his decision to call off the high-speed pursuit. "Thank God this one ended safe and we got a wanted felon off the street."
The driver allegedly admitted that he had injected methamphetamine Friday, and that he fled because he knew he was a wanted parolee with a no-bail hold. He was also wanted on a $50,000 warrant issued Jan. 23 by Chico police for felony evading a peace officer.
According to police records, he was sentenced to two years in jail for a burglary conviction in 2004. Officers reportedly found a pair of 14-inch bolt cutters and other burglary items in his car when it was searched following his arrest Friday.
After having blood drawn at Glenn Medical Center in Willows for evidence, James was taken to the Glenn County Jail in Willows and booked on a variety of charges, including felony evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for the safety of others, possession of metal knuckles, driving under the influence of methamphetamine, driving while suspended and under the influence of alcohol, possession of a switchblade/gravity knife, possession of hypodermic syringes and possession of under an ounce of marijuana.
He refused to identify the female passenger he released from his car in Hamilton City.
His bail was set at $73,000.
Copyright 2008 Chico Enterprise
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