A Eureka man led California Highway Patrol on a high-speed car chase on the outskirts of Crescent City on Friday and continued on foot before finally being tracked down and arrested.
Matthew Susmilch, 29, of Eureka was traveling north on U.S. Highway 101 at about 9 p.m., according to Sgt. Chris Enriquez. A CHP officer sitting near Humboldt Road saw Susmilch following a big rig too closely and began following him, Enriquez said.
Susmilch then sped up and passed the big rig. The pursuing officer turned on his lights to attempt a traffic stop but Susmilch sped off, leading the officer on a chase that reached nearly 100 miles per hour, Enriquez said.
As Susmilch approached Elk Valley Road, he appeared to try to turn onto the road before changing his mind and attempting a U-turn back onto Highway 101, Enriquez said.
During the attempted U-turn, Susmilch's vehicle was involved in a minor collision that disabled his vehicle, Enriquez said.
Susmilch fled the scene on foot, jumping the wall to the Sea View RV Park and concealing himself in some berry bushes there.
CHP contacted the Crescent City Police Department and the Del Norte Sherrif's Office for assistance, Enriquez said. The CCPD was able to locate Susmilch with the assistance of a K9 unit within 10 minutes. Susmilch was then arrested without further incident.
Upon inspection of Susmilch's vehicle, CHP discovered suspected heroin, suspected methamphetamine and marijuana.
Susmilch was booked into the Del Norte County Jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale, possession of marijuana hashish for sale, hit and run resulting in injury and evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for public safety - all felonies. Susmilch was also booked on a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license.
There is also an outstanding warrant for Susmilch in Humboldt County.