A 38-year-old transient man was arrested after he crashed a stolen vehicle during a high-speed police pursuit from Penngrove to Santa Rosa, Cotati police said.
James Gallagher was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of several felony crimes, including two counts of attempted carjacking, possession of a stolen vehicle, driving under the influence of a controlled substance causing injury and evading police, Cotati Police Lt Bill French said.
Gallagher has an outstanding $100,000 arrest warrant for felony larceny from Montana, French said. He will also be booked on misdemeanor crimes of possessing a controlled substance and stolen property.
Shortly after 11 a.m., the CHP alerted Cotati police that a stolen 2003 Ford Crown Victoria might be in the city. Officer Chris Kaupe soon spotted the Ford on Old Redwood Highway, Parish said. Kaupe followed the car and, with backup, tried to stop the driver on Southwest Boulevard in Rohnert Park.
The driver sped away, and the officers followed in what would become a 15-mile chase involving several other law enforcement agencies traveling at high speeds through Penngrove, Cotati, Rohnert Park and into Santa Rosa, according to police.
Gallagher crashed into several other vehicles as he tried to cross Highway 101 at the Hearn Avenue overpass, got out and ran on foot, at one point trying to open the driver doors of other vehicles stopped at a red light, police said. Officers apprehended Gallagher on foot. He was evaluated for back pain at the scene before being arrested, French said.
Police said Gallagher is suspected of stealing from a vehicle parked outside the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Cotati before the pursuit and he was caught on surveillance video.
The crash stalled traffic near the Hearn Avenue overpass.
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or email@example.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.