Ohmigosh, you guys! We’re almost back! Your devoted editor has been out on vacation for almost two weeks now and we’re nearing the end of our pre-drafted posts! Woo-hoo and yee-haw. We can’t WAIT to see all the gems you’re leaving us in the comments. (You ARE leaving us comments, aren’t you???)
Let’s stop gushing and get on with the story, shall we? We wrote you up an extra-special one today, in honor of Valentine's Day. Because we 💙 you.
Brace yourselves – this one is a heck of a dramatic tale. And it all takes place *during daylight*, which is rare for these posts.
It’s a Thursday, just before noon. If you’re familiar with this time of day in Newport Beach traffic, you’ll know that there are plenty of cars on the road. So imagine our concern when an officer spots a white Ford truck with a camper shell driving erratically. VERY erratically. Swerving all over Newport Boulevard and heading towards the peninsula.
The NBPD network of field officers jumps into action. This truck is going too fast, and driving too dangerously, for the first officer to keep up. Another officer picks up the pursuit when he sees the truck turning onto Balboa Boulevard from 32nd Street, against a red light. The driver takes this illegal turn so fast that the truck almost collides with the center median before he regains control. A third officer, responding on 34th Street, sees the truck whiz across his field of vision, easily going 50 mph up Balboa Boulevard (which is a 30 mph zone).
The craziness continues. The truck blows through a stop sign at 38th Street, still going over 50 mph. As the truck approaches River, the third officer is in pursuit, watching the truck with grave concern. There is a blockade of moving cars, one in ever lane of traffic… and Driver Guy is approaching *way* too fast. The driver slams on the breaks, swerves to the right, but doesn’t avoid hitting a black sedan in the outermost lane. He continues on his way, transitioning to Coast Highway. The driver escalates his horrifying tactics, dodging other cars and even driving on the wrong side of the road, going westbound in eastbound lanes. Our officer temporarily loses sight of him, unable to keep up with such blatant disregard for public safety.
The officer eventually (safely) makes his way to the truck, which is now stopped along the curb on PCH. The driver is nowhere to been found. Officers immediately establish a perimeter and start searching the area.
Our third officer is near the intersection of 48th and River when multiple citizens start pointing him towards a nearby alley. There, he finds a human dogpile (as opposed to a dog-dogpile… which, when you think about it, is a much rarer sight… right?). Three or four folks are all piled on top of some guy to detain him. The officer intercedes, and recognizes… the driver of the white truck. Dun-dun-duuuuuuuunnnn!
“But wait,” you might be thinking. “How did those folks know about the crazy-driving stuff?” They didn’t! You see, Driver Guy made a new series of enemies after he abandoned his ride. How? Let us fill you in…
Imagine you’re sitting in your car, minding your own business, at a construction site where you work… when, all of the sudden, a guy comes flying over a wall to your left and lands in the bed of a truck parked in front of you. This guy then locks eyes with you, sprints toward your car, pulls open the back passenger-side door and gets in your back seat, screaming, “Help me! Help me! Go, go, go!”
What do you do? Do you sit there in shock for a moment? Because, in this case, the guy in the car does just that. And then Driver Guy proceeds to push and hit him from the back seat, eventually punching him in the face.
The poor guy hops out of the driver’s seat and (covertly) takes his keys with him. Driver Guy takes the opportunity to run around and sit his own rear-end down in that newly-vacated driver’s seat and start to fumble around with the ignition. It’s obvious that Driver Guy is trying to steal this car, now that his car-jacking efforts have gone awry.
As the shocked car-owner yells for help and begs for anyone within earshot to call the police, Driver Guy gets spooked and takes off on foot again. Another man from the construction site (who is our victim’s boss, if you’re keeping track) gives chase and eventually tackles Driver Guy, detaining him – with a little help from some other concerned citizens – until the officer arrives. Detention by Dog-Pile.
Once everyone catches their breath, the cop stuff begins. Except Driver Guy… he never quite catches his breath. Somebody needs a trip to the hospital. Before the ambulance takes him away, Driver guy takes a moment to lie to the officer about his name.
The rest of the interview has to wait. Driver Guy takes hours to stabilize. While he’s in care, officers are able to identify him by his numerous tattoos. This isn’t his first rodeo, if you’ll pardon the phrase. And he has an outstanding warrant.
When Driver Guy is finally ready for an interview, he fesses up to his real name. And he says he has no recollection of the entire ordeal, which he believes was a drug-fueled end to a three-day binge.
And what a binge it must have been. Driver Guy, you see, has established a bit of a pattern. He stole a truck from a construction site in Costa Mesa before taking officers on a whirlwind pursuit through Newport Beach, complete with a hit-and-run. Then, when he had to abandon the truck, he tried to steal a second vehicle from the construction site on River.
Can you spot all the arrest charges? Auto theft, reckless driving, hit and run, carjacking, providing false ID to an officer, AND the warrant. Whew!
We TOLD you it was a dramatic story. Comment away, dear readers – we can’t wait to hear what you think. We’ll be back to read (and respond) soooooooon!