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A CHP pursuit that began in Susanville ended just west of Portola the afternoon of Jan. 3 thanks to the use of spike strips. Photo by Jay Morris

CHP pursuit ends just west of Portola; driver arrested

California Highway Patrol officers in Eastern Plumas County brought an end to a two-county pursuit just west of Portola on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 3. Spike strips and other maneuvers were used to bring the vehicle driven by Randy Lay of Christmas Valley, Oregon, to a stop. He was subsequently arrested on several charges including suspicion of assault on a peace officer.

Officer Seth Preston, a spokesman for the Quincy area CHP office, said that calls began coming in about 1 p.m. today about a reckless driver in a Suzuki Grand Vitara heading westbound on Highway 395 near Vinton.

According to a report released by the CHP, the Suzuki matched the description of a vehicle earlier pursued by Susanville CHP units in which the vehicle attempted to ram both patrol units during the pursuit.

CHP officers located the Suzuki traveling westbound on Highway 70 near Beckwourth and attempted to conduct an enforcement stop. The vehicle fled from the pursuing units continuing westbound on Highway 70 west of Grizzly Road.

Officers deployed a spike strip and were successful in flattening two of the vehicle’s tires. The Suzuki continued westbound through Portola at a slow rate of speed.

The pursuing units utilized the Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT) to disable the suspect vehicle. (This is a maneuver where the CHP vehicle drives parallel and close to the suspect vehicle to force it to stop.) When asked if this damaged the CHP vehicle, Preston said that if done correctly, there is minimal damage. In today’s maneuver, the CHP car escaped with a few scratches.

The PIT maneuver caused the suspect vehicle to spin, leave the roadway, and slowly rollover coming to rest on its wheels on the north shoulder of Highway 70 east of Delleker Drive. The suspect refused to exit his vehicle and officers approached to remove him.  As officers attempted to take control of the suspect, he accelerated the vehicle toward another officer. The officer was able to move out of the path of the approaching vehicle and was not struck.

The Suzuki came to a stop and officers took the suspect into custody without further incident. The suspect sustained minor injuries as a result of the legal intervention PIT maneuver and was transported to the Plumas District Hospital for medical evaluation.

The suspect, identified as Randy Lay of Christmas Valley, Oregon, was placed under arrest for suspicion of assault on a peace officer, felony evading, DUI, resisting arrest, and possession of a controlled substance.  Lay was booked into the Plumas County Jail.

No officers were injured in capturing the suspect. The incident resulted in minor traffic delays.

When asked about the afternoon event, Preston said, “It makes us feel good that we got someone who was driving recklessly and possibly could have harmed innocent individuals off the road.”

Any further inquiries about this incident please contact the California Highway Patrol Quincy Area Office at 530-283-1100


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