UCPD officers attempted to stop a black Ford Fusion for
driving recklessly in Isla Vista on Saturday night but were led on
a brief car chase that ended in an accident on El Colegio Road. On
Saturday, a patrolling UCPD officer witnessed a car driving over
the speed limit through a highly populated area of Isla Vista, and
soon after the officer attempt to make a routine traffic stop.
However, the driver accelerated when asked to pull over and
proceeded to flee the scene at high speeds. Ryan Villa-Lopez, a 20
year-old male from Lompoc, is now facing multiple charges for his
involvement in the incident — including assault with a deadly
weapon, evading officers in a reckless manner and hit-and-run, in
addition to two previous outstanding misdemeanor charges. According
to Sergeant Rob Romero, Villa-Lopez was driving so fast,
pedestrians were forced to jump out of the way of the car to avoid
being hit. After pursuing the car for a short time, officers
decided to disengage and follow at the speed limit, obeying traffic
signs to reduce the risk of civilian casualty, Romero said. After
following the direction of the vehicle, officers observed a damaged
road median and pile of car debris on the corner of El Colegio Road
and Embarcadero Del Norte. They asked several pedestrians if they
had seen a damaged car driving through campus and were pointed
towards Parking Lot 30 on the UCSB campus. Upon approaching Lot 30,
the officers found the damaged vehicle parked with no driver and
the passenger — a 14 year-old boy — still inside, Romero said. No
charges were filed against the boy and he was released to a family
member. After initially fleeing the scene of the incident,
Villa-Lopez turned himself into authorities last night. Nobody was
injured in the vehicular pursuit, and Romero said officers
demonstrated self control and excellent procedural skills in their
handling of the incident.   A version of this article
appeared on page 1 of the Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 print edition
of the Nexus.