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Deputies nab fleeing driver in 100 mph pursuit

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A Concord motorist ended up in jail Monday evening, facing numerous charges after leading sheriff’s deputies on a chase through and around Sonoma at speeds approaching 100 miles an hour.

At around 10:30 p.m., according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Adrian Mancilla, a deputy from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Valley substation was on routine patrol in the area of Verano Avenue and Riverside Drive. A grey Toyota Camry that was directly in front of the deputy, accelerated for unknown reasons. The suspect’s vehicle began to straddle the middle of the roadway and turned its headlights off, then back on again.

The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver continued to accelerate and began violating several vehicle code laws as the chase moved eastbound on Verano Avenue, southbound on Fifth Street West, westbound on Leveroni Road before going northbound on Arnold Drive.

The suspect’s speed reached as much as 100 miles an hour during the pursuit, which Mancilla said lasted about 15 minutes. During that time, Sheriff’s deputies requested the assistance of the California Highway Patrol and an air support unit.

For unknown reasons, the suspect’s vehicle eventually turned into the Hanna Boys Center on Arnold Drive.

At that point, deputies were able to perform a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) on the suspect’s vehicle, but the driver spun the Toyota around and intentionally drove toward the pursuing patrol car, ramming it and causing moderate damage to both cars. There were no injuries during this incident.

After the collision, deputies removed 61-year-old Christopher McRee from the car and took him into custody.

McRee was arrested on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm; felony evading a peace officer with wanton disregard; obstructing or resisting a peace officer and driving with a revoked license. McRee was booked into the Sonoma County Jail and bail was set at $30,000.

Deputies were unable to explain why McRee originally fled, although records revealed he was arrested in Alameda County last week for felony evading a police officer.