Driver of stolen car East Bay high-speed chase, crash evades police

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Driver in East Bay high-speed chase, crash evades police
EMBED <>More Videos

The driver of a stolen car, who drove the wrong way on two major East Bay highways during a police chase, escaped arrest, in an apparent attempt to avoid going back to jail.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Police are looking for a man who stole a car in Concord and drove 30 miles in the wrong direction on two highways before crashing his car in Berkeley.

The California Highway Patrol says the suspect drove a stolen car from Concord to Berkeley, in a high-speed chase, which ended after he crashed into an SUV.

The stolen Honda Accord crashed into an SUV on Hearst Avenue near California Street. This, after the driver traveled about 30 miles the wrong way on two freeways at speeds up to 80 miles an hour.

Neighbors report hearing a loud crash and then seeing mangled wreck of two cars.

Police followed the car from Concord until it got on Highway 4. A CHP helicopter spotted the car going against traffic, then to Interstate 80, again going the wrong way. CHP ground units stayed near the Honda but left the pursuit to its chopper.

"The helicopter continued with it lit up, that way we could alert oncoming motorists of the danger," said CHP Sgt. Jim Koven.

At one point, the driver even demanded that police stop following him.

"He called 911 and made a few statements to our dispatch and relayed that he wasn't going back to jail," Koven added.

They began their ground pursuit once the driver entered Berkeley. The collision happened about midnight in North Berkeley. The driver of the SUV sustained minor injuries. Officers with canines searched homes and backyards for the suspect who ran from the scene.

Neighbors were awakened by police with high powered rifles, looking in alleys and parked cars.

"They asked for the key so they could open the trunk and as soon as they opened the the trunk they had their AR 15s pointed at the truck so that told me that was a pretty serious," Berkeley resident Peter Scurr said.

Police thought they cornered the suspect near Hal Erickson's backyard.

"They were asking the suspect to come out and said this is your last warning. Then didn't do anything about that," Erickson said.

The suspect escaped the dragnet