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Wrong-way truck driver pepper-sprayed, tased after CHP pursuit 

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The driver is suspected of being under the influence of a drug

– On Saturday at 10:35 p.m., a California Highway Patrol officer was driving on Highway 101 southbound near the top of the Cuesta Grade, when he observed a three-axle flatbed truck traveling the wrong way on the freeway. The truck was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of US-101 directly adjacent to the officer. The officer sped ahead of the wrong-way driver and turned around at Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo in order to bring in a traffic break in an attempt to stop the wrong-way driver. The attempt was unsuccessful and the driver continued the wrong way southbound in the northbound lanes.

The truck reached the bottom of the Cuesta Grade and used a turn-through in order to correct himself and he then proceeded southbound in the southbound lanes. CHP officers overtook the suspect and attempted a second enforcement stop. The suspect refused to yield and a pursuit ensued.

The suspect fled from CHP units at approximately 10 miles per hour or less. During the pursuit, multiple spike strips were successfully deployed. The suspect turned around at Laetitia Vineyard and proceeded to flee northbound on US-101. Due to the damaged front tires from the spike strip deployments, the truck eventually stopped on US-101 northbound near Spyglass Dr. The suspect refused to exit.

Officers approached the vehicle and deployed OC spray into the cab of the vehicle in hopes the suspect would exit. The suspect exited the vehicle with pruning shears in hand and was not complying with officers’ commands.

Subsequently, a CHP officer deployed a taser, and the driver was taken into custody without further incident.

Following this approximately two-hour and forty-five-minute pursuit the driver was transported to the hospital and upon release was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

The driver is suspected of being under the influence of a drug and the truck was later confirmed to have been stolen.

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