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Santa Rosa man arrested after reporting truck stolen

A Santa Rosa man, suspected of leading a Sebastopol police officer on a high-speed chase Saturday night before crashing his pickup and getting away, was arrested Monday afternoon when he showed up at the police station to report his truck had been stolen.

Todd James McMillan, 33, went to the Sebastopol Police Station on Monday afternoon and told police that his 2002 Chevrolet pickup had been stolen, not knowing he was being sought for the Saturday night incident involving the vehicle, according to Sebastopol police Captain James Conner.

The brief chase, in which speeds reached nearly 100 mph, began at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday when Officer Andrew Bauer tried to pull over the driver of the pickup after the man spun out the truck’s wheels, causing smoke, while turning from Petaluma Avenue onto Sebastopol Avenue.

When Bauer turned on his emergency lights, the driver initially pulled over while crossing Laguna Bridge. However, when the officer directed the driver to drive off the bridge to a safer location, he sped off. After heading east for about a quarter of a mile with Bauer giving chase, he suddenly made a U-turn onto Highway 12, Conner said.

Bauer was able to get a clear view of McMillan when he sped back into Sebastopol as he passed the officer’s vehicle, because they each had their driver’s side windows rolled down, Conner said. Bauer later identified McMillan, who according to court records has a previous DUI conviction, as the registered owner of the truck from a recent booking photo.

The officer reported going about 90 mph in an attempt to catch the truck. He also reported seeing the driver run two red lights before the truck crashed downtown into a couple of trees.

After crashing, the driver ran from the truck and into the nearby plaza.

Officer Bauer ran after him and at one point dove to stop the man in a tackle. The officer got a hold on him, but the suspect wrestled out of his grip and ran off toward the nearby Barlow center and disappeared, Conner said.

The officer had minor injuries to his forearms and elbows, which didn’t require time off of work, Conner said.

McMillan was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of perjury, false report of a crime, evading police and causing injury, and probation violation. He is scheduled to appear in court July 23.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Writer Elizabeth M. Cosin at 521-5276 or elizabeth.cosin@pressdemocrat.com.


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