High-speed pursuit through Santa Rosa leads to crash, arrest

A 30-year old Santa Rosa man with an outstanding warrant was arrested Wednesday by Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies after leading them on a late-night, high-speed car chase and crashing into a fence at a Bellevue Avenue business.

Around 10 p.m., a deputy patrolling southbound Highway 101 near ?Highway 12 noticed that the dark-?colored Nissan in front of him had no valid stickers on its rear license plate, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office. The deputy ran the plates and found the car’s registration had been expired since January 2015.

The deputy turned on his overhead red lights at the Todd Road exit in an attempt to stop the car, but the Nissan driver instead took the exit and sped west down Todd Road before turning right onto Moorland Avenue and heading north.

The Nissan eventually tried to make a left turn onto Bellevue Avenue but was allegedly traveling too fast, so the car veered off the north shoulder of the road, ran into a culvert, ran over a traffic sign and stopped upon hitting a fence at Coggins Fence & Supply, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The driver, James Gunther, 30, of Santa Rosa jumped out of the car and tried to run off through the Coggins property but was stopped by deputies who found he had a $15,000 arrest warrant for driving with a suspended license and violating a court order, the Sheriff’s statement said. He was booked into Sonoma County Jail.

The Sheriff’s Office said Gunther’s girlfriend, who was in the car during the chase, cooperated with deputies. The girlfriend, whose name was not released, was cited for a misdemeanor warrant and released without charges.

You can reach Staff Writer J.D. Morris at 707-521-5337 or On Twitter @thejdmorris.

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