A Turlock man was arrested on multiple criminal charges after leading California Highway Patrol officers on a dangerous high speed chase around Merced County Thursday afternoon.
Around 4 p.m. Thursday Merced-area CHP Capt. Malkiat Samra spotted a 1995 Mazda speeding and making unsafe lane changes on Highway 99. Samra attempted to pull the Mazda over, but the driver, later identified as Louis David Lara, Jr., 44, sped off the Applegate Road exit in Atwater.
The pursuit continued westbound onto Sycamore Avenue, headed toward a dead end, according to the CHP.
Lara attempted to change directions by making a U-turn, in which he struck the right rear of the patrol vehicle.
Lara drove the Mazda northbound on Highway 99 at a speed in excess of 100 mph, the CHP reported. At a high rate of speed, Lara had the Mazda weaving between lanes as it exited several off-ramps only to reenter the highway.
Lara ran into slow traffic at the Hammatt Avenue overcrossing and began passing vehicles of the right shoulder, the CHP reported.
Another CHP officer, monitoring the pursuit via radio, joined in the chase in the Hammatt area and overtook the Mazda.
Lara drove the Mazda onto the Collier Road off-ramp and attempted to turn northbound on Canal Drive, but he failed to negotiate the turn and spun out into the intersection of South Avenue and Canal Drive.
Officers quickly took Lara into custody on a count of felony evading and suspicion of driving under the influence. Lara also had two misdemeanor warrants and one felony warrant in Stanislaus County.