NewsLocal News


Pursuit suspect in custody after crashing in San Luis Obispo

Posted at 12:07 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 22:34:08-04

UPDATE (2:15 p.m.) - A 46-year-old man is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon following a pursuit Monday in the San Luis Obispo area.

It started at about 11:10 a.m. when officers were dispatched to a silver Hundai that had blood all over the vehicle, according to police.

San Luis Obispo police say the suspect was avoiding offers and ignoring their commands to stop while also yelling at people.

A pursuit with the California Highway Patrol went along southbound Highway 101 to Avila Bay Drive and then back to the City of San Luis Obispo where police joined in.

It eventually ended on Olive Street after the suspect crashed head-on into another vehicle leaving the driver and passenger in that car with minor injuries, police say.

“We didn't know anything about this man who was driving,” said SLOPD Lieutenant John Bledsoe. “We didn't know what his problems were, we didn't know if he was under the influence, we didn't know if he was mentally ill, so we tried to establish a rapport with him and find out what his issues are and we actually had a trained negotiator at the scene.”

The area was blocked off while police negotiated with the suspect and eventually took him into custody.

“Our primary concern is the safety of the citizens out there in the street,” Bledsoe said. “At this time of day, traffic is extremely heavy. We have pedestrian traffic… he was driving in the pedestrian area of Cal Poly for several minutes - we had lost him up in that area (and) we got him back on the freeway. He's in the downtown area in the next few minutes and then he's on Santa Rosa.”

Bledsoe says that once the pursuit entered city streets, officers deactivated their lights and sirens in an effort to de-escalate the situation.

“With his erratic driving and the conditions of the roadway and the heavy traffic, obviously our concern was the citizens and we did not want people to get injured… that's why we did not pursue him (in the city).”

A witness described the suspect’s driving as erratic, estimating he was going 66-70 mph when he fishtailed and crashed into the vehicle on Olive Street.

The witness says the suspect then went around another corner and crashed into a telephone pole.

Police say the suspect also had warrants out for his arrest.


UPDATE (12:42 p.m.): A pursuit suspect who crashed in San Luis Obispo is now in custody. KSBY's crew on the scene watched as SWAT moved in on the vehicle Monday afternoon along the 1000 block of Olive Street.

The suspect was being checked out by firefighters as of 12:42 p.m.

No other information was immediately available.


ORIGINAL STORY: A pursuit suspect reportedly crashed after leading officers on a chase along Highway 101 in the San Luis Obispo area Monday.

Few details were immediately available about the incident, which had moved from the highway into the City of San Luis Obispo.

As of 12:10 p.m., the 1000 block of Olive Street was blocked off. Officers were in the area and the suspect's vehicle appeared to be at the end of the street, shortly before the entrance to southbound Highway 101.

No word on whether the suspect had been taken into custody.

The California Highway Patrol says the call initially came in as a wrong-way driver in a gray Hyundai, who, at one point, was making several suicidal statements.

Officers say he eventually turned around at Fox Hollow Road near the bottom of the Cuesta Grade and then exited the highway a short time later before crashing into a white vehicle on Olive Street.

KSBY has a crew at the scene and will have updates as they become available.