CHP IDs fleeing motorcyclist
California Highway Patrol officers arrested the motorcyclist allegedly involved in a high-speed pursuit Saturday night that resulted in an officer wrecking his cruiser and the rder escaping.
David Benalt, 21, from Reno was interviewed and booked by CHP investigators Tuesday evening. Benalt is currently being held in custody at the Placer County Jail in Auburn with bail set at $75,000, according to Officer Steve Skeen with the CHP’s Truckee office.
Benalt faces felony charges of evading a police officer and causing injuries.
Authorities will meet with Benalt today at 1 p.m. at the courthouse in Auburn.
“We were able to track him down and make contact with him,” Skeen said. “And he actually came into our office.”
Skeen said the motorcycle’s license plates, registration and a fingerprint lifted from the vehicle, among other clues, led investigators to Benalt.
Officer James Giraudo, who sustained moderate injuries in Saturday’s pursuit, has been released from Renown Medical Center in Reno and is recovering from his injuries.
The case remains under investigation, and officers are still trying to piece together the details from Saturday nights’ events, said Skeen.
Investigators are in the process of creating a history of where Benalt went after he allegedly abandoned his motorcycle at the golf course in Squaw Valley, Skeen said. Benalt’s motivation for allegedly evading police officers has yet to be determined as well.
Skeen said the pursuit began at the intersection of Highway 267 and Interstate 80 and wrapped through Kings Beach and then Tahoe City towards Squaw Valley. At approximately 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Giraudo began pursuing an unidentified motorcyclist traveling northbound on Highway 89 south, according to a CHP release.
While attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Squaw Valley Road in pursuit of the driver, Giraudo lost control of his patrol vehicle and struck a light pole. The vehicle rotated backwards and ended up in a ditch on the northwest corner of the intersection.
Skeen said three other units were en route at the time of the collision. A helicopter was involved in the search of the rider after the collision, but was not involved in the pursuit.
” Sun staff reports
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