Care shase ends in arrest
One man was arrested and another escaped as they fled Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies during an automobile pursuit Thursday.
Brian Lee Cooper, 25, of Carson City, the alleged passenger, was arrested for resisting a public officer.
John Daniel Christy, 29, of Gardnerville is believed to be the alleged driver and was not located by sheriff’s deputies.
Christy has numerous prior offenses in Douglas County, according to Sgt. Lance Modispacher, including possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence and without a license and domestic battery and battery with a weapon. He is known to not appear on scheduled court dates and to violate probation, and he has two outstanding warrants with the Nevada Highway Patrol.
“He is well known by just about every one of our deputies,” said Modispacher.
Deputy Sheriff Phil Lesquereux pulled the men over in a 1977 Datsun for speeding at about 6:25 p.m. by Dresslerville Road and Riverview Drive in the Gardnerville Ranchos. When Lesquereux stepped out of his vehicle to approach the Datsun, the driver drove away at a high rate of speed, most likely because of the outstanding warrants.
“He knew he was going to jail,” Modispacher said.
The sheriff’s office uses common sense in pursuits, Modispacher said, and probably would not engage in a high-speed chase in a residential area. Nationally, many deaths occur because of pursuits, and the sheriff’s office feels it shouldn’t put people’s lives in danger because of someone speeding.
However, the vehicle headed toward the rural area south of the Ranchos near Mud Lake, going toward the California border. Because the Datsun was going to a semi-mountainous area, the sheriff’s deputies decided to take up pursuit, following at a safe distance.
Lesquereux was the primary pursuer, Deputy Sheriff Roy Eddings followed in a patrol car as backup and Lt. Mike Biaggini followed in a four-wheel drive vehicle. They followed the Datsun until the patrol cars could no longer continue on the snowy, muddy road. Biaggini picked the sheriff’s deputies up in the four-wheel drive vehicle, and they continued until the Datsun was found abandoned.
The pursuit ended on Mud Lake Road.
Deputies from the Alpine County Sheriff’s Office were aware of the pursuit and were making moves to intercept the fleeing vehicle if it crossed into California, which, Modispacher said, may be the reason the driver and passenger left the vehicle.
Lesquereux was able to follow Cooper by his tracks in the snow and mud, and the sheriff’s deputies located him hiding. Christy was not found. The Datsun suffered major damages because it is a low-riding car not made for driving on rocky, dirt roads, Modispacher said. The patrol cars were not damaged.
Cooper was charged because he fled from the Datsun instead of waiting for sheriff’s deputies.
“He could have stayed in the car and just said, ‘Hey, I had nothing to do with it,'” Modispacher said. “But, he didn’t.”
About 25 minutes went by from the beginning of the pursuit to the arrest of Cooper. He is out of jail on $500 bail.
The Datsun belonged to Tisha Bateman of Gardnerville, a friend of Christy.
The sheriff’s office believes the driver was Christy, Modispacher said, because of interviews with Cooper and because Lesquereux recognized him.
Modispacher urges anyone with information about Christy’s whereabouts to contact the sheriff’s office. Those with information can call Douglas County Secret Witness at 78-CRIME (782-7463), the sheriff’s office at 782-9900 or Modispacher directly at 782-9931.
“We’ll catch him down the road,” Modispacher said. “It’s just a matter of time.”