Motorhome driver back in Douglas custody
February 25, 2019
The driver of a motorhome involved in a fiery pursuit last summer is in Douglas County custody on a warrant issued after he failed to appear in district court.
Christopher L. Debastiani, 47, was returned to Douglas County on Saturday here he is being held in lieu of $10,000.
Debastiani, of Alturas, Calif., was scheduled to appear in Douglas County District Court on Jan. 15 after he waived his preliminary hearing in Tahoe Township Justice Court on Dec. 18, 2018.
Debastiani is denying he did anything wrong when he drove his motorhome across the state line on Aug. 26, 2018.
He said he was startled by South Lake Tahoe police officers who knocked on the door of his motorhome.
Douglas County deputies received a report that the 1996 Airstream motorhome was heading toward Stateline on Highway 50.
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The deputy who started the pursuit said he saw the motorhome drive through the casino corridor without lights at about 55 mph in a 35 mph zone.
Deputies followed the motorhome with lights and sirens on Highway 50 along Lake Tahoe and over Spooner Summit.
They tried to stop him using spike strips at the junction of highways 395 and 50.
Debastiani continued south on Highway 395 with two flattened tires, sending a shower of sparks behind him and leaving a groove in the highway.
Residents videoed the motorhome's passage through Minden and Gardnerville before it finally came to rest against the Ritchford Stables in Gardnerivlle.
He is facing a charge of felony eluding in district court.