A California Highway Patrol officer sustained minor injuries to his hand when a drunk driver trying to avoid arrested attempted to run him down.
Officers Brian Gonzalez and Joseph Tronti were performing a traffic stop shortly after midnight on Sunday, Feb. 27 when they saw a silver 2001 Volkswagen GTI slide out of control while exiting the southbound lane of Highway 101 at Reynolds Avenue in Carpinteria. The Volkswagen struck the concrete divider separating the on- and off-ramps of Reynolds. Officer Gonzalez approached the Volkswagen and motioned with his flashlight for the driver to pull in behind the stopped CHP car so he could investigate the collision.
The Volkswagen drove a short distance on the right shoulder of the off-ramp, then entered the off-ramp lane, revved the engine and accelerated toward Gonzalez, who was standing in the lane. Gonzalez drew his gun, but did not fire. While Gonzalez was attempting to jump out of the way, the flashlight he was carrying in his left hand shattered the right rear passenger side window of the Volkswagen. Gonzalez sustained several cuts on his hand, for which he was later treated at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and released.
The officers then returned to their patrol car and followed the Volkswagen, which continued at high speeds and failed to stop at stop signs. At the intersection of 7th Street and Reynolds, the suspect abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot.
During the foot pursuit, the suspect fled into the apartment of 20-year-old Ashey Kytle, who initially denied to officers that the suspect was in her apartment. Witnesses eventually confirmed that the suspect had indeed entered the apartment and the officers located the suspect hiding in Kytle’s bathroom and took him into custody.
The suspect was identified as 19-year-old Beau Briggs of Carpinteria. Briggs faces several felony charges including assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, evading arrest, driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to obey the orders of an officer. He is being held at the county jail with a bail of $100,000. Kytle was also taken into custody for interfering with Briggs’ arrest. She faces a misdemeanor charge of delaying an officer.