Suspect arrested two months after Cotati high-speed chase

A Penngrove man driving a Lexus eluded Cotati Police on a wet and cold night in February, but a follow-up investigation led to his arrest Tuesday.

Jesse Nielson, 26, was charged with evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety and violation of probation for a prior DUI. He was taken to Sonoma County Jail and held on $100,000 bail.

Cotati Police had originally pursued Nielson on Feb. 19 after a registration check on the Lexus he was driving turned up fake tags. He led a Cotati officer on a chase reaching 70 mph down East Cotati Avenue in wet conditions, Cotati Police Chief Michael Parish said in a statement.

Nielson is suspected of running a red light and speeding south on Old Redwood Highway and east on East Cotati Avenue where police terminated the chase, according to Parish.

Cotati police were later contacted by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, which had been involved in a March 30 pursuit of Nielson that ended in his arrest on suspicion of evading police with disregard for public safety, driving with a suspended license because of a DUI and other allegations.

A warrant was issued for Nielson’s arrest, and around 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office deputies, assisted by Cotati Police, went to the Penngrove home where Nielson was staying. Law enforcement found the Lexus parked at the house and surrounded the building, Parish said. Nielson fled on foot but was arrested by police nearby.

You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or On Twitter @nrahaim.

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