Two men were arrested late Saturday after leading deputies on a 16-mile, high-speed pursuit, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.
A deputy had attempted to pull over a silver Buick stopped in the middle of the intersection at Moorland Avenue and Gorel Court without its headlights on around 11 p.m., Sgt. Cecile Focha said in a statement. When the deputy turned the spotlight on the car, it sped off, she said.
The deputy, who recognized the driver, David Garcia, 23, as a gang member known to law enforcement, switched on his emergency lights and siren and pursued the car, Focha said.
Garcia headed south on Moorland to Todd Road, blowing through stop signs and veering onto the wrong side of the road before heading south on Highway 101, she said.
He headed south toward Petaluma at up to 100 mph, forcing other cars to swerve out of the way, Focha said.
Garcia continued to flee even after Petaluma police officers laid spike strips in the road to flatten his tires, she said.
The car came to a halt after a deputy used a patrol vehicle to spin the Buick into the center median if the highway at Kastania Road, Focha said.
Garcia resisted arrest and deputies used an electric taser barb on him before taking him into custody, she said. His passenger, Brian Mena, 18, of Sonoma Valley, was also arrested.
Deputies found several open bottles and cans of beer in the car, Focha said. CHP officers also assisted in the pursuit.
Garcia faces several charges, including evading and resisting arrest, reckless driving, evading with a willful disregard for public safety and driving while under the influence.
He also faces charges for violating terms of his probation. He was on felony probation from Napa County and has two probation cases in Sonoma County, Focha said. He is being held at the Sonoma County Jail without bail.
Mena was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on charges of obstructing a deputy. He was released from jail on his own recognizance.