Argument between exes may have preceded car theft, high-speed chase

CARPINTERIA — A Long Beach man led Santa Barbara County sheriff’s and California Highway Patrol units on a 110 mph chase southbound on U.S. 101 from Carpinteria through heavy La Conchita traffic and into Ventura County before careening across two freeway lanes and going airborne Thursday.

The suspect, 29-year-old Erick Balint, was driving a Jeep Cherokee that he had allegedly stolen from a Carpinteria shopping center parking lot.

When the chase finally ended, the vehicle came to rest in very heavy brush down an embankment separating the highway from nearby Union Pacific railroad tracks.

According to Sgt. Drew Sugars, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, Balint was found unconscious inside the Jeep. While emergency crews worked to pull him from the wreckage through the Cherokee’s rear liftgate hatch, deputies held him at gunpoint. The vehicle is owned by Balint’s ex-girlfriend, with whom he had a volatile argument earlier in the day.

Transported to Cottage Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, Balint is due to be booked on charges of robbery, grand theft auto, driving under the influence, evading arrest, domestic violence and driving without a license.

Argument between exes may have preceded car theft, high-speed chase was last modified: July 17th, 2012 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara, Ventura

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