Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 1:57 am | Fair 37º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Man Arrested After Pursuit, Crashing Car with Toddler Aboard

Suspect from Santa Maria faces felony charges, including reckless driving and child endangerment

A 26-year-old Santa Maria man is facing several felony charges after allegedly fleeing Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies on Thursday and crashing his car with a 2-year-old child on board.

Anthony Samuel Soto was arrested on several counts, including obstruction of an investigation, reckless driving and child endangerment, according to Sheriff’s Department spokesman Drew Sugars. Soto was to be booked into the County Jail after receiving treatment for facial injuries he suffered in the collision.

The incident began shortly before noon Thursday when deputies were dispatched to the area of California Boulevard and Union Valley Parkway in Orcutt to investigate a report of domestic violence. At least one witness described seeing a woman exit a white SUV after some type of altercation.

A few minutes later, a deputy observed the vehicle near Mooncrest Lane and Hummel Drive, but the driver refused to pull over and instead drove away.

The deputy followed the vehicle as the suspect drove eastbound on Clark Avenue until reaching Old Dominion Road. Sugars said the suspect allegedly reversed direction and headed back to Orcutt as a sheriff’s helicopter followed the suspect from above.

A few minutes later, the suspect vehicle approached the area of Hummel and Foster Road, at which time deputies stopped their pursuit due to the number of citizens in the area.

The suspect vehicle subsequently ran a red light and collided with another vehicle at the intersection of East Betteravia Road and South Miller Street in Santa Maria. A witness told deputies the suspect then exited his vehicle with a toddler and got a ride from a passing motorist, who drove the pair to a billiard hall on Carmen Lane, where deputies arrested Soto.

The child, who is a relative of Soto, was not injured and was released to a family member. The driver of the other vehicle was not hurt in the collision.

The Santa Maria Police Department is investigating the crash.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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