Suspect arrested after brief car chase

Suspect  arrested after  brief car chaseBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

When officers of the Ridgecrest Police Department attempted to make a traffic stop for inadequate vehicle lighting, the motorist led officers on an 11-mile high-speed pursuit. According to reports, the incident occurred last Jan. 25 and the suspect was ultimately arrested in Buttermilk Acres.

According a press release, the driver of a dark-colored Scion TC, later identified as Tommy Sigala, 24, accelerated away as police where maneuvering behind him to initiate a traffic stop near the intersection of East Upjohn Avenue and South Gateway Street.

Officer Kyle Cushman, accompanied by Sgt. Bill Groves, reportedly activated his lights and followed Sigala, who failed to yield.

“During the pursuit, Sigala failed to stop at stop signs [and] red lights and reached speeds of 90 miles per hour,” said the release. “Sigala drove without due regard for the safety of the public and on more than one occasion drove on the wrong side of the road.”

Officers Ricardo Garibay, Roberto Ramos and Reserve Officer Micah Lloyd reportedly joined the chase which ended in the 1500 block of North Clifford Street where Sigala ditched his vehicle. Officers continued the pursuit on foot, “chasing Sigala through multiple backyards.”

Officers eventually used a taser to subdue the suspect when they reportedly thought he may try to enter a residence. He was taken into custody without further incident.

Sigala was reportedly in possession of about an ounce of methamphetamine and 240 grams of marijuana was found in the vehicle.

He was booked with a $90,000 bail and is currently facing three felony charges including reckless evasion of a peace officer, transporting a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for sale in addition to eight more misdemeanor charges including possession of marijuana for sale, hit and run resulting in property damage, violating a court order to prevent domestic violence and driving without a license.

Sigala’s felony arraignment and confirmation of counsel were held earlier this week. His pre-preliminary hearing is Feb. 5.

Story First Published: 2019-02-01