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Clearlake officers perform lake rescue before car chase, arrest

A man whose fishing boat capsized while he was on Clear Lake was rescued by two Clearlake police officers who commandeered a small row boat to get to him, police said.

Tired, cramping and cold, Ronald Bell, 55, was yelling for help, shouting through the darkness and far off-shore that he was near to drowning, according to Clearlake police.

The officers and Lake County sheriff's deputies were alerted at about 7 p.m. Sunday about a man in distress, possibly in the water.

The deputies were responding from Lakeport. The officers, Elvis Cook and Travis Parson, were closer. They could hear him yelling for help and spotted him about 150 yards out.

The officers took a small aluminum boat from a nearby resident and rowed out to rescue the man.

Bell told the officers he'd been fishing in his own small boat when it tipped and dumped him into the water, police said.

Lakeshore firefighters provided medical aid for the man.

The same officers were involved in a car chase Friday night involving a driver who twice rammed their patrol car, officials said.

Parson and Cook were patrolling in town when they tried to pull over a driver for a traffic violation at about 11 p.m.

She wouldn't stop and led them on a six-mile chase through city streets, passing vehicles over double yellow lines, running red lights and speeding more than 50 mph, according to police.

She also stopped once and after the officers pulled up behind her and were getting out of their car, she put her car into reverse and rammed the front of the patrol car before taking off again.

Another time she drove into the front of the patrol car, police said.

The chase ended in the lake bed of Borax Lake, when her car would go no further.

Officers held her at gunpoint and ordered her out, but the officials said the woman rolled up the windows and locked the doors.

They broke out a window and started to send in a police dog when she gave up.

Officers arrested Sherri Painchaud, 31, of Clearlake on suspicion of assault on an officer, battery, evasion and patrol violation — all felonies — as well as driving while under the influence.

She was taken to the Lake County Jail and is being held without bail.

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