Waving goodbye to a pursuing Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy, a suspect on a mini-bike apparently thought the chase was at an end as he moved through narrow barriers and rode into the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
The deputy, however, got out of his patrol car, moved a barrier and continued the chase, reporting he was tracking the bike across the large property from dust clouds seen in the distance and with the help of at least one person who pointed out the bike’s direction, sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Pedersen said Wednesday.
Monday evening’s chase ended with the arrest of rider Joshua Bergstrom, a 23-year-old Santa Rosa resident who was wanted on a $10,000 DUI arrest warrant, Pedersen said.
It started with the deputy spotting a man on a small, off-road motorcycle traveling on Santa Rosa Avenue at about 5:40 p.m. Such bikes aren’t legal on roadways and the deputy attempted to stop the helmet-less rider, Pedersen said.
But the rider didn’t pull over and that started a pursuit that traversed several city streets in the area of the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. The rider was driving against traffic at about 45 mph and causing several drivers to swerve and break to avoid hitting him, Pedersen said.
At the Bennett Valley Road entrance to the fairgrounds, near the race track, the rider moved through barriers, turned and waved to the deputy before heading into the property, according to the deputy.
The still-pursuing deputy located the bike in the nearly vacant grounds after spotting dust clouds. The chase picked up near the horse stalls and the Chris Beck arena and returned toward Bennett Valley Road and the front of the fairgrounds.
The deputy reported he feared the man would ride into the one-way traffic in front of the property and so sped up until he was able to clip the back tire with the patrol car’s front bumper, causing the bike to fall.
The rider stepped off the downed bike and refused orders to get on the ground by the deputy who held a stun gun, Pedersen said. When the man continued to refuse the deputy kicked him in the chest, dropping the man to the ground.
Bergstrom was arrested and taken to the Sonoma County Jail.
As well as the warrant, he was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, felony evading of an officer, driving with a suspended license and having an illegal weapon — a collapsible police baton which was found in his backpack, Pedersen said.