Santa Barbara County – Nobody likes getting a ticket, much less a moving violation of any kind. But when a driver spots those flashing red “gumballs” in the rearview mirror, the most sensible thing to do—and the one well-publicized by both the CHP and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state—is to simply pull over to the right-hand curb as soon as it’s safe to do so, come to a complete stop, turn off the vehicle’s ignition, roll down one or more windows, and keep your hands on the steering wheel while you wait to meet a new badge-wearing friend.
It appears, however, that some drivers never get that message and do everything possible to endanger themselves, members of the driving public at large, and any law enforcement personnel endeavoring to enforce motor vehicle laws. Based upon the events occurring on the night of March 4th in the City of Orcutt, it would appear that Kenneth Baker, a 50-year old resident of that city, is one of those poorly-informed motorists.
The midnight hour was only 30 minutes away when, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, SBSD patrol unit deputies spotted a pickup truck driven by Baker as it perfectly executed a perfectly illegal U-turn. Duty-bound, the deputies initiated a standard traffic stop on the pickup truck, but it suddenly accelerated down a series of residential streets, blowing through a trio of stop signs as it “reached speeds of 55 miles per hour,” Hoover reported.
Not apparently as familiar with the layout of streets in the area as he might have wished, Baker than turned into a cul-de-sac, leaving him nowhere to go…other than right out of the truck itself, whereupon he attempted to flee on foot.
But, as not many 50-year olds can keep up with the running speed of the county’s finest, Baker soon found himself staring down the gun barrels of the deputy’s handguns, and the chase was over.
Baker was transported to Santa Maria Jail where he was booked on charged of felony evading, being an unlicensed driver (which may have contributed to the illegal U-turn in the first place), and displaying false registration tabs on his license plate. What would have been a simple blot on a DMV record ended with Baker having his bail set at $75,000.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking