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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 11:18 am | Fair 63º


Man Facing DUI, Other Charges After Pursuit, Crash

Christian Mateo Perez, 19, was arrested in downtown Santa Barbara

A Santa Barbara man is facing DUI and other charges stemming from an incident in which he crashed his vehicle in downtown Santa Barbara after reaching highway speeds during a police pursuit, according to the California Highway Patrol

Christian Mateo Perez, 19, was arrested at 11:10 p.m. Saturday, and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, evading a peace officer and reckless driving and child endangerment, driving without a license and hit and run, CHP Officer James Richards said.

The pursuit began when two Santa Barbara area CHP officers attempted to stop a weaving Ford Expedition traveling north on Highway 101, just south of Carrillo Street.

After being instructed to exit the freeway, Richards said, the vehicle accelerated, and turned right onto eastbound West Carrillo, driving through a red light.

"Perez accelerated to freeway speeds, maneuvered between traffic, and drove through red light at cross streets between the freeway and State Street, while fleeing from pursuing officers," he said.

Perez failed to negotiate a right turn onto State Street from Carrillo, and the front of the SUV struck a newspaper vending machine along the east side of the street.

Because Perez continued to flee at unsafe speeds between traffic and on the wrong side of the road, Richards said, the officers decided not to continue the pursuit in the interest of public safety.

However, Perez soon lost control of the vehicle, jumping a curb on the west side of the street and striking a tree, Richards  said.

Officers disabled the vehicle and arrested Perez.

Four passengers were also in the car, three of whom were juveniles.

Perez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $25,000.

Two of the juveniles were released to their parents at the scene while another was arrested for an outstanding warrant and booked into the Santa Barbara County Juvenile Detention Facility in Santa Maria.

Alexander Earl, the fourth passenger, was released at the scene and was not charged, Richards said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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