A burglary suspect led police on a high speed chase in Sacramento County on Monday night, but was eventually taken into custody thanks to an armed citizen.
The California Highway Patrol says the suspect tried to make a run for it by driving the wrong way down I-80, which caused officers to break off their pursuit to “avoid endangering people’s lives”
CHP eventually caught up with the suspect right before he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a “brush type area along I-80,” Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tess Deterding said.
Right after the crash, officials say the man got out of his vehicle and ran to a nearby housing development, where he was ultimately shot by a homeowner in the area.
“The homeowner felt his life was endangered and fired at least one round at the suspect,” Deterding said.
Police say the suspect was taken to a local hospital, while a female passenger in his car was detained. Authorities say the homeowner is cooperating with police, and while the investigation continues I’d be shocked if they end up facing any charges.
Sacramento County is not one of the jurisdictions in the state that have used Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order to close down gun shops, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this story prompts other nearby residents to visit a gun store in the next few days to begin the lengthy process of acquiring a firearm for self-defense.
Meanwhile, a federal judge has ruled that the state does not have to release thousands of inmates currently held in California prisons. In an opinion handed down on Friday, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar said the state already has a plan to deal with the spread of coronavirus behind bars.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and no one questions that it poses a substantial risk of serious harm to plaintiffs,” Tigar wrote in his ruling. “But given the numerous and significant measures the State of California has taken and continues to take in response to COVID-19, the court cannot conclude that state officials have been deliberately indifferent.”
“The state responds that it already has such a plan — one that includes the release of thousands of inmates to reduce the prison population, the cessation of visitation and the intake of new prisoners, sharp reductions in inmate transfers to avoid the spread of the contagion, detailed protocol to manage symptomatic inmates and staff, increased disinfectant effort and adjustment to housing and physical activities to increase physical distancing.”
California officials say they do plan to release about 3,500 inmates early, and will not accept 3,000 more inmates currently incarcerated in county jails, but attorneys with the Prison Law Office wanted thousands more inmates put back onto the streets, claiming that more than 40,000 individuals held behind bars have an increased risk of serious complications from COVID-19.
There’s no word on what will happen to the burglary suspect taken into custody on Monday night, but more than 400 inmates have already been released from the Sacramento County jail in recent weeks, so there is a distinct possibility that his stay behind bars will be short-lived. Hopefully if and when he’s sprung from the county lockup he’ll have a new respect for other people’s property, as well as the understanding that even in California he could run into another armed citizen ready and willing to protect himself and his property from an intruder.