Monday, November 5, 2007

Car chase ends in crash, arrest


A Lompoc man fled from authorities in a stolen car after officers spotted him running a stop sign in downtown Santa Barbara on Sunday, California Highway Patrol officials said.
At 1:45 a.m., two CHP officers noticed a Toyota Camry turn from Gutierrez Street onto northbound Chapala Street without stopping, immediately pulling up behind it with emergency lights flashing, CHP Spokesman Don Clotworthy said.

The Toyota, driven by Froilan Villa, 29, turned right on Cota Street, crossed State Street and came to a stop at Anacapa Street for a red light, all at a moderate speed, Clotworthy said.
However, as the officers left their cruiser and approached the car, Villa sped away quickly, he said. As the CHP officers jumped back in their patrol car and pursued the Toyota, a Santa Barbara police cruiser joined the chase.
“The Toyota sped eastbound on Cota Street at 60 to 65 miles per hour, running through several intersection stop signs,” Clotworthy said. “The Toyota made a left turn onto Laguna Street, and then made a left turn onto Ortega Street at approximately 40 mph. Mr. Villa lost control of the Toyota, which then collided with three parked cars.”
Villa exited the Toyota and took off on foot, he said. CHP and Santa Barbara police caught up quickly and arrested him for misdemeanor DUI, vehicle theft, felony evading and driving on a suspended license, authorities said. Clotworthy said investigators determined the Toyota was stolen from Bakersfield, Calif.
Officers also booked Villa for an outstanding $50,000 warrant for probation violation and providing a false identity, Clotworthy said. He was not injured in the crash.

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