High-speed chase ends with arrest, crash

A high-speed chase that began early in the morning on Friday, Jan. 25, ended by the midmorning arrest of a 21-year-old man on five charges.

According to a press release prepared by Sgt. Ryan Marrone, the incident began at approximately 12:30 a.m. Ridgecrest Police Officers Bill Groves and Kyle Cushman were on patrol when they observed a white Toyota truck and stopped it for traffic violations in the 300 block of South China Lake Blvd.

As they approached, the driver, later identified as Michael Eugene Kauth Jr., fled the scene southbound on South China Lake Boulevard, Sgt. Marrone reported.

The officers gave chase. Kauth who failed to yield, continued to accelerate and led the officers on a high-speed chase through several city streets, including unincorporated areas in Kern and San Bernardino counties.

During the pursuit Kauth was alleged to have intentionally rammed a RPD patrol vehicle, tearing the front end off of the vehicle (bumper/push bar/headlight assembly).

The collision caused major damage to both vehicles.

Kauth continued to flee, and for a period of time pursuing vehicle lost contact. During this time, Kauth is believed to have rolled his vehicle in the area of Bella Vista Estates, traveling eastbound through the desert toward Wagon Wheel. Officers subsequently terminated the pursuit. Approximately two hours later, RPD officers located Kauth’s vehicle abandoned and disabled near Trona Road.

Kauth was located at approximately 9:30 a.m., at a residence on East Laura Avenue. He was subsequently arrested by Officer Adam Shaffer without further incident.

Kauth was booked on two counts of assault with deadly weapon; felony evading in vehicle; and two counts of resist, obstruct and delay of an officer with force.

Story First Published: 2013-02-06