Photo: (top) Suspect Chistina Vallesteroes ; Suspects Vehicle After Crash
Story Published by: Redding Police Department Facebook Page:
“On August 7th, 2022, at approximately 7:36 PM, SHASCOM Dispatch began receiving several reports of a reckless or possibly intoxicated driver, driving a silver colored Acura sedan. The vehicle was reported to be unable to maintain lanes, and driving into oncoming traffic in the area of South Bonnyview Road near Bechelli Lane. Another caller reported the vehicle was stopped in the roundabout in the same area. Information provided by the callers was relayed to the Redding Police Department. As witnesses reported the vehicle entering onto northbound Interstate 5, the information was forwarded to the California Highway Patrol.
Redding police officers started searching for the vehicle when they received an updated report that the Acura was last seen exiting the freeway onto eastbound Cypress Avenue. A short time later, a caller reported the same vehicle spinning doughnuts in a parking lot near Churn Creek Rd and Hartnell Avenue. Responding officers located the Acura at that location and attempted to stop the vehicle. The sole occupant, later identified as 25-year-old Round Mountain resident Christina Vallesteroes, did not yield as required and began fleeing in the vehicle. Officers pursued Vallesteroes, and requested assistance from the California Highway Patrol Air Operations Division (CHP Air Ops). Officers lost sight of the Acura when Vallesteroes began driving the wrong way on Market Street near Pine Street. Officers canceled the pursuit out of concern for community safety.
A short time later, separate callers began reporting the same Acura driving recklessly and on the wrong side of the road in the area of Railroad Avenue and SR 273. Officers located the Acura in the area of SR 273 at Branstetter Lane, and attempted to stop the vehicle. Vallesteroes again fled in the vehicle, driving into a nearby trailer park. Officers attempted to contain Vallesteroes in the park, however, Vallesteroes evaded containment by driving through two separate fences, causing property damage.
Vallesteroes then drove into the parking lot of a gas station, located near Eastside Road at South Bonnyview Road. In the parking lot, Vallesteroes appeared to purposely drift the vehicle around the pumps, causing the Acura’s rear tires to lose traction, and nearly colliding with patrons attempting to use the pumps. Prior to exiting the parking lot, Vallesteroes appeared to intentionally attempt to strike an occupied Redding Police vehicle pulling into the entrance. Vallesteroes directed the Acura towards the police vehicle and accelerated. The officers were uninjured after quickly accelerating out of the path of Vallesteroes and narrowly avoiding being struck.
Vallesteroes exited the parking lot driving the wrong way on a divided highway. Officers again canceled the pursuit due to the potential risk to unaware motorists. Officers were able to maintain sight of the vehicle and continued to follow Vallesteroes as she once again began traveling southbound in the southbound lane of SR 273.
Vallesteroes entered into additional parking lots of a shopping area, located near Westside Road at Westwood Avenue. Due to the continued risk of injury to the driver, officers and the public, officers considered various methods of intervention to end the unsafe driving and prevent Vallesteroes from returning to the roadway. Officers attempted to flatten the vehicle’s tires by setting spike strips in the path of the approaching Acura. Vallesteroes veered around the spike strips, traveling in an opposing lane and nearly causing another collision. Other officers attempted to disable the vehicle by targeting a collision between a patrol vehicle and the rear quarter panel of the Acura. Vallesteroes briefly lost control, but continued southbound in the vehicle.
A helicopter from CHP Air Ops arrived overhead and was able to maintain sight of the Acura, allowing officers to follow at a safe distance. The vehicle continued southbound on SR 273, where additional spike strips were set and ultimately unsuccessful in stopping the vehicle. As Vallesteroes attempted to turn eastbound onto North Street in Anderson, she lost control of the vehicle and left the roadway. The Acura became high-centered, and the front wheels of the front wheel drive vehicle were suspended above the roadway.
Officers surrounded the disabled vehicle and issued commands for Vallesteroes to surrender. Vallesteroes did not comply, and continued to try to flee by revving the engine and turning the front tires in an apparent attempt to get the vehicle unstuck. The overheated engine ignited a small fire in the foliage beneath the vehicle.
Officers deployed less-than-lethal beanbag rounds to break the windows of the vehicle and allow for better communication, visualization and access to Vallesteroes. Officers ordered Vallesteroes to put her hands in the air. Vallesteroes did not comply. Eventually, K9 Otto was deployed through a window into the vehicle to assist officers in safely apprehending her. Vallesteroes began fighting with the K9, punching and grabbing its snout. Officers ordered Vallesteroes to stop fighting the K9 and pulled her out of the vehicle. Once out of the vehicle, Vallesteroes wrapped her leg around K9 Otto’s neck with apparent intent to strangle the K9. It took several officers to stop Vallesteroes and detain her in handcuffs.
While officers were taking Vallesteroes into custody, they learned Vallesteroes was not the registered owner of the vehicle. Further investigation revealed the vehicle was stolen, within the last few hours, from the owner’s driveway.
Vallesteroes sustained injury to her left arm as a result of the K9 apprehension. Officers also noted Vallesteroes appeared under the influence of drugs. Vallesteroes was transported to a local area hospital for medical treatment. Vallesteroes was booked into Shasta County Jail for charges related to vehicle theft, reckless evasion, impaired driving, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police K9.
Written By: Sergeant Chris Mills #365
Redding Police Department
Reviewed by: Officer Lensing #183″