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Wild chase through Clearlake ends in man's arrest

A Lake County man who led police on a chase through Clearlake on Wednesday collided with one motorist and sideswiped several others as he sped through town, authorities said.

John Kennedy Garoutte, 31, was eventually captured after fleeing his vehicle in the wake of an extended pursuit in which he traveled at high speeds, ran traffic signals and wove into oncoming traffic, police said.

An officer first tried to stop Garoutte shortly after 2:30 p.m. as he was leaving Ray's Food Place on Dam Road. Witnesses had reported an erratic individual was lying on the pavement and banging on a vehicle window in the parking lot, police said.

The suspect sped away in an SUV as soon as the officer turned on his overhead lights. He drove through a stop sign and a red light after that, hitting a car at one point, police said. Garoutte sideswiped several others as he squeezed past them on Old Highway 53 before bailing out of the car and trying to run away.

Garoutte was booked for suspicion of felony evasion with disregard for public safety, resisting arrest, driving under the influence of drugs, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, and violation of probation, authorities said.


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