August 8, 2020 – Santa Barbara County, Ca.
An innocent feline was killed on August 7th following an hour-long hot pursuit by California
Highway Patrol Units which saw a stolen car suspect careening along U.S. 101 at speeds
approaching 100 mph.
It all began, according to CHP Officer Benjamin Smith, at approximately 11:45 a.m. when Santa Barbara Patrol Units “received a report of a stolen beige Honda” suspected to have fled
northbound on Highway 101. Units responded, soon spotting the Honda traveling at a high rate of speed toward the Santa Maria area.
The driver of the stolen car, later identified as 26-year- old Santa Maria resident Daniel Emilio Ruiz Medina, accelerated to 95 mph, then crossed the freeway’s center median and careened into a Jonata Park Road residential area.
As CHP air units were called into the pursuit, patrol units were called off the chase “due to the
unsafe speeds and danger to the public.” As the CHP helicopter maintained pursuit
surveillance, Medina was observed jumping into a flatbed truck and racing off, hitting the truck owner’s cat, inflicting fatal feline injuries.
Medina then drove the flatbed truck back onto northbound U.S. 101, managing to evade the
CHP’s spike strip by veering into the center median, “sending debris in multiple directions” and driving northward in southbound lanes, swerving back into northbound lanes at “speeds above 95 mph.”
He then exited the freeway and drove into an industrial park, alighting from the truck and entering a building materials office structure.
When CHP units caught up to the stolen truck, they entered the building materials office area
and discovered Medina “sitting at a desk where he donned a reflective vest and headset in an
attempt to appear as an employee.” He fooled no one and was promptly taken into custody.
Medina was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on multiple felony
charges, vehicle code violations, and violations of probation terms. He remains in custody.
Photos: Courtesy CHP, www.heartlandvets.com