Man arrested at Smith R. after pursuit into park

Written by Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate March 22, 2013 04:39 pm

PhillipsA man suspected of leading authorities on a pursuit near Stout Grove was later captured on the bank of the Smith River on Tuesday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A CHP officer tried to pull over a vehicle missing its front license plate that was driving in the Bertsch Tract area around 8:45 a.m., but the driver instead led the officer onto Howland Hill Road into Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, said CHP Sgt. Del Gray.

The suspect, later identified as Robert L. Phillips, 25, slid off the road and got the vehicle stuck on a dirt shoulder before bailing out, Gray said. 

“We found the abandoned car and didn’t know which way he ran,” said Gray, adding that the car was reported stolen from Crescent City last weekend and contained a small amount of methamphetamine.

Officers continued to search and notified people in the area they were looking for a suspect, Gray said.

Authorities eventually received reports from fishermen that Phillips was seen swimming across the Smith, Gray said.

Phillips was located near a river bank in Hiouchi close to Monument Drive around 2 p.m., Gray said.

Phillips was arrested on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, transporting a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, evading a peace officer and resisting.

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