Lake County driver arrested after 15-mile, 90 mph chase
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 12:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.
A long, high-speed chase on rural Lake County highways ended with the arrest of a 20-year-old driver who'd kept going despite shredded truck tires from a spike strip, reported Lake County sheriff's officials.
Lake County deputies arrested Arthur Wayne Weatherwax Jr. of Middletown after about a 15-mile, weaving, speeding chase at about 1 a.m. Sunday.
On Highway 53, Weatherwax stopped in the roadway north of Anderson Ranch and gave up, reported Lake County sheriff's Lt. Steve Brooks.
The tires of his white Ford pickup had shredded to the point he couldn't keep going, said Brooks.
The chase started in Middletown on Highway 29.
A deputy saw the pickup run a stop sign as it pulled onto the highway from Butts Canyon road.
The deputy put on his lights and siren. The driver put on his emergency flashers, began to stop and then accelerated away, said Brooks.
While driving at about 90 mph, the pickup repeatedly crossed double yellow lines and drove in the oncoming traffic lane between Bar X ranch and Grange Road, said Brooks.
At Highway 29 and Hartman Road the driver blew through an intersection stop sign at about 60 mph. Then the truck continued north on Highway 29 at about 90 mph, according to deputy reports.
A CHP officer in Lower Lake put out a spike strip on the highway at C Street.
The truck hit the strip, puncturing the front tires. The driver kept going and moved into oncoming traffic on the highway near Spruce Grove Road.
Fearing a collision with unsuspecting drivers, another deputy ahead of the truck pulled into the highway to stop traffic heading toward the truck, said Brooks.
Near Clayton Creek Road, with a deputy ahead and behind, the truck slowed to about 25 mph and began to stop. The deputy in front slowed as well and then the truck driver hit the gas and headed toward the back of the patrol car, attempting to hit it, said Brooks.
The deputy pulled away fast and avoided a collision, said the lieutenant.
The chase continued north on Highway 29 to Highway 53.
At about 1 a.m., with the front tires destroyed, the driver stopped on the highway, got out and lay down on the roadway.
He was arrested for two felonies, suspicion of recklessly evading a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon on an officer.
He was booked into the Lake County Jail near Lakeport and remained in custody Tuesday in lieu of $85,000 bail.
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