Wild Santa Rosa chase ends in driver's arrest

A lengthy, convoluted, late night Santa Rosa car chase crisscrossed town at speeds of 50-90 mph, involved well over a dozen red light violations and a busted school fence, city water hydrant and a pole before it ended with the arrest of a teenager from Roseville.

An officer attempted to pull over the driver on Cleveland Avenue for a light infraction. The driver, who turned out to be unlicensed and carrying a small amount of methamphetamine, didn't stop, said Sgt. John Snetsinger.

The pursuit started at 2:18 a.m. on the west side of town. It ended at 2:32 a.m. in far east Santa Rosa on Mission Boulevard.

From start to end the route taken by driver Brittin Kassman, 19, however, was far from direct.

Snetsinger said it first headed onto southbound Highway 101 reaching speeds of 90 mph.

The driver got off at College Avenue, flew through the stop light at the bottom of the exit, crossed College and went straight back onto the highway.

He exited again into downtown Santa Rosa and led two police officers on a weaving trail north into the SRJC neighborhood, reaching speeds of about 50 mph.

Near Morgan Street and the old St. Rose school property the driver briefly stopped, letting a passenger out of the car. That person ran and wasn't found.

The driver continued north up residential Glenn Street and ignored a stop sign at College Avenue. He sped around traffic circles — set up to slow drivers — at about 45 mph and then blew through a stop sign onto Ridgway Avenue.

The SUV crossed Ridgway onto Santa Rosa High School property.

Ahead was a large locked gate.

The driver pulled a u-turn and crashed through some cyclone fencing leading to the school's baseball field, said Snetsinger.

The vehicle drove over the field and crashed through another section of fencing before getting back onto the street, headed west toward Armory Drive.

The chase then led up along the junior college campus toward Steele Lane but cut back into the residential area where he drove south on Mendocino Avenue reaching about 60 mph.

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