PLEASANT HILL -- A man who police say has a long history of stealing cars flipped one of them and was arrested after trying to escape the California Highway Patrol at speeds of up to 100 mph Thursday morning.
Police did not immediately identify the 25-year-old who police said led them on a chase from Interstate 80 near Richmond to Interstate 680 where he flipped a white Honda Prelude while trying to negotiate the Willow Pass Road exit in Pleasant Hill.
Paramedics treated him for cuts and scapes at the scene, and Sgt. Joe Johnson said that under the agency's policy, the man would be checked by a doctor before being booked into the County Jail in Martinez.
Johnson said the CHP would seek charges of evading, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a weapon after police found a gun on the man. Police also had an arrest warrant out for him on an undisclosed charge, Johnson said.
The chase began about 7:35 a.m. near the Hilltop Road exit on I-80, when police tried to pull over the man for a minor traffic infraction, possibly a car pool lane violation, Johnson said. Instead of pulling over, the man headed east before taking the Highway 4 exit and heading toward Martinez. After briefly going against traffic on Highway 4 and I-680, he wound up taking side streets through Pacheco and Pleasant Hill before getting back on southbound I-680, Johnson said.
The man crashed around 8:20 a.m. when he came upon some cars backed up on the Willow Pass Road exit. Johnson said the car flipped when man slammed on his brakes and tried to steer, leaving the car on its roof on the left shoulder of the exit. The CHP shut down the exit for more than an hour.
Nobody else was injured.
"Fortunately," Johnson said, "traffic was moderate to light at the time. Sometimes that time of day, it's a lot worse."
Johnson said the man has an extensive record of car thefts and that he is well known to law enforcement.
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Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rderh.