A Las Vegas man allegedly driving drunk fled from California Highway Patrol officers who tried to stop him in Temecula, triggering a pursuit that ended with the suspect crashing his Jeep.
James Ryan Hoffman, 27, was arrested on suspicion of DUI, felony evading and driving on a suspended license after a chase that began around 2 a.m.
According to the CHP, two officers patrolling Ynez Road, just south of Dealer Road, spotted a 2003 Jeep Cherokee weaving in southbound lanes and signaled the driver to pull over, which he initially did, heading into the Tower Plaza mall parking lot.
“Without warning, the driver of the Jeep began to drive wildly through the parking lot, jumping curbs and raised islands,” CHP Officer Nathan Baer said. “The vehicle headed back onto Ynez Road and accelerated to a high rate of speed southbound.”
The Jeep reached speeds of 90 mph during the ensuing pursuit, according to Baer.
He said when Hoffman passed Margarita Road, he swung the Jeep 180 degrees, causing the SUV to crash into the raised center median, shattering the SUV’s left front wheel assembly, though it was still drivable.
“The driver continued fleeing northbound and was unable to stay in the northbound lane,” Baer said. “The Jeep drove over the center median and became disabled.”
Hoffman and his three passengers were arrested without incident, though only the driver was booked into jail, taken to the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, where he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
No injuries were reported.