The driver of a stolen vehicle and his four occupants, including three juveniles, were arrested Thursday evening after trying to flee from a California Highway Patrol officer.
Officer Javier Garcia was conducting speed enforcement about 5 p.m. on northbound Highway 101 north of Casitas Pass when he observed a Ford Expedition traveling at a high rate of speed, according to Larry Hockman, a CHP public information officer. Garcia’s handheld Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) device confirmed the vehicle was approaching at more than 100 mph.
The officer accelerated to get into position to make a traffic stop and observed the Ford exit the highway at Santa Monica Road at a high rate of speed.
The driver was unable to negotiate the sharply curved exit and collided with a raised concrete curb. The vehicle went back onto Highway 101 northbound from the Santa Monica Road on-ramp, continuing westbound on Via Real and into the Chevron parking lot, Hockman said.
Garcia observed five occupants exit the Ford and run away. Three of the occupants ran toward the Motel 6 on Via Real, west of Santa Monica Road. The other two occupants ran behind the Chevron on the corner of Via Real and Santa Monica Road.
Garcia requested assistance. CHP officers and Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies with the use of air support and a K-9 set up a perimeter.
Three suspects were found in the motel parking lot. The remaining occupants were located and identified by a witness.
Jesus Hernandez and Jose Serafin Mendoza Suarez were arrested; the other three suspects were juveniles. All are from Oxnard. The Ford was reported stolen from Oxnard on Tuesday.
— Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.