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Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies injured after chase ends in crash

  • An image from the crash scene provided by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies pursued a suspected reckless driver through southern Santa Rosa and northern Rohnert Park early Friday morning at speeds topping 100 mph.

The chase ended with four smashed cars and two injured deputies, sheriff’s officials said.

The driver, Justin Gonzales, 36, of Santa Rosa was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, evading officers and violating parole, according to a post by Sgt. Cecile Focha on the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.

Deputies said Gonzales was driving without a license and was suspected of driving under the influence.

Around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, Gonzales passed a deputy while traveling more than 100 miles per hour in a silver Audi hatchback on southbound Highway 101 near the Hearn Avenue onramp, according to the post.

The deputy followed the speeding car on Highway 101 and Todd Road, where another deputy joined the pursuit.

Gonzales led deputies through county roads at more than double the speed limit, Focha said. He covered about 10 miles in 10 minutes through South Moorland Avenue, Langner Avenue, Millbrae Avenue, Labath Avenue, Golf Course Drive, Whistler Avenue and Stony Point Road, before heading back to Todd Road. He ran at least 10 stop signs and one red light.

As Gonzales headed east on Todd Road, he encountered more patrol cars. He spun his car around and crashed into a patrol car. He then revved the engine and plowed into another stopped patrol car.

At this point, deputies boxed in his car on all sides, ending the chase, Focha said.

Deputies approached the vehicle and saw Gonzales laughing and smiling. Deputies had to break out a window to remove him from the car and take him into custody.

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