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Motorcycle chase to Windsor leads to arrest

A Sonoma County man with a history of escape was arrested Sunday evening after police said he led officers on a high-speed Highway 101 pursuit, ending when his motorcycle conked out in Windsor.

Randy William Pippin of Santa Rosa, 52, was taken into custody after the 5 p.m. chase, which involved Santa Rosa police, California Highway Patrol officers and the Napa-based CHP helicopter.

Pippin was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of felony evading police, driving on a suspended driver's license, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of probation. He remained in jail Monday with a bail of $50,000.

Santa Rosa police Sgt. Dave Boettger said an officer saw Pippin commit an unspecified vehicle code violation in Santa Rosa and began to follow him. The rider turned and saw the officer, accelerated and fled, Boettger said.

The officer pursued Pippin through several streets in northwest Santa Rosa as Pippin blew through stop signs and traffic signals, speeding and driving recklessly, Boettger said.

Pippin then rode onto Highway 101 north to Windsor, where he continued to flee through the city and eventually west to Mark West Station Road, Boettger said.

CHP Officer Jon Sloat said officers from his department responded to assist, including the agency's helicopter, which flew in from Napa.

After Pippin exited the highway, his Harley-Davidson motorcycle had a mechanical problem and died, police said.

Officers arrested him at gunpoint, Sloat said.

The CHP cited Pippin last month in Santa Rosa on suspicion of having false registration tags on his vehicle, driving with a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia, Sloat said. Officers impounded his car and forwarded a complaint to prosecutors.

In 1996, Pippin, also known as Randy Belmont according to Press Democrat archives, escaped from a Sonoma Police car in Santa Rosa while being transported to jail to face burglary charges.

He escaped from the back of the patrol car by reaching through a window, lowered by an officer after his prisoner said he needed air, and unlocking the door from the outside.

Pippin apparently then ducked into the nearby Yardbirds hardware store and freed himself with bolt cutters, according to news reports.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 762-7297 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com.

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