Driver faces assault charge in chase |

Driver faces assault charge in chase

A motorhome appears to ride on a shower of sparks as deputies chase it through Minden late Sunday night.
Special to The R-C

Despite leaving a trail of sparks from Carson to Gardnerville, a motorhome that refused to yield to deputies only set one small fire.

The blazing chase from Carson City to Gardnerville ended when a motor home collided with a historic building late Sunday night.

Alturas, Calif., resident Christopher Debastiani, 46, was booked into jail on charges of assault on police, eluding, resisting, destruction of property, assault with a deadly weapon late on Sunday night.

East Fork Battalion Chief Scott Fraser said an NHP trooper extinguished a burning tire part.

Sheriff’s Spokeswoman Sgt. Bernadette Smith said Debastiani didn’t have supplies that might have indicated he was bound for Burning Man.

She said no shots were fired at the motorhome during the pursuit.

According to the sheriff’s office, the 1997 Airstream motorhome was spotted driving without lights on Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe headed for Stateline.

Deputies tried to pull him over, but instead Debastiani increased his speed to 80 mph, and was swerving over the double yellow line on Highway 50.

Deputies placed spike strips at highways 395 and 50 in an effort to stop Debastiani, but he continued southbound on 395, shedding pieces of tire and trailing a shower of sparks.

Deputies tried the spike strips again at highways 88 and 395, but Debastiani drove around the roadblock, hopping the curb.

At one point, deputies said he swerved toward two deputies on foot before continuing to Gardnerville.

Debastiani ran into the Ritchford stables at Highway 395 and Douglas Avenue.

When deputies pulled him from the motorhome, Debastiani struggled with them.

He was taken to Carson Valley Medical Center with minor injuries and booked.

The Nevada Highway Patrol is in charge of the investigation.

Bail was set at $25,000 in Tahoe Township Justice Court on Tuesday.