Suspect Arrested After Car and Foot Chase
Happy Canyon - March 26th, 2013
A 43 year old Santa Barbara man is in custody after leading Sheriff’s Deputies on a 22 mile high speed chase and an extensive search to locate him that involved Deputies, two K-9 Teams, California Highway Patrol ground units and a CHP helicopter. Bruce Mario Flores was eventually found hiding in some bushes in the remote area of Figueroa Mountain off Sunset Valley Road.
The pursuit started around 9:45 p.m. last night, Monday, near Santa Ynez High School on west bound Highway 246 when a Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to pull Flores over because he did not have any tail lights working and for erratic driving. Flores refused to yield and instead did a U-turn and fled east bound on Highway 246 at a high rate of speed. Flores sped through intersections without stopping and ran several red lights during the pursuit which continued onto Highway 154 and reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
The chase continued onto Armor Ranch Road and up Happy Canyon Road. During the pursuit, Deputies witnessed Flores throwing evidence out of his car. The California Highway Patrol assisted in the pursuit which ended at the Sunset Trail head about 10:15 p.m. where the vehicle was located but the suspect was not inside.
The perimeter was secured and several K9 teams along with a CHP helicopter were brought in to help find the suspect. Sheriff’s K9 units led the search teams down the Sunset Trail for about one half mile where they indicated the suspect may have gone off the trail down the steep hillside. The steep terrain and heavy brush hindered search efforts in the area. After several hours of searching for Flores, the CHP helicopter observed a faint heat signature on their FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) equipment and directed deputies to the location. Flores was discovered hiding in heavy brush under a fallen tree- trunk on the steep hillside at 12:40 a.m. this morning. After a brief struggle he was taken into custody and transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail after being medically cleared at the hospital.
Flores, who is on probation, was booked into the jail for Evading a Peace Officer with Reckless Disregard for the Public, Reckless Driving, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs/Alcohol, Driving With a Suspended License, Failure to Comply with a Peace Officer, and miscellaneous traffic infractions. An additional charge of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle will be filed as the vehicle Flores was driving was reported stolen before the conclusion of the event. Flores is in the Santa Barbara County jail serving his ten day probation violation sentence and his bail is set at $75 thousand dollars.
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