A 19-year-old woman who was handcuffed in the back of a California Highway Patrol car managed to make her way to the front seat and steal the car while officers were distracted Monday, the CHP reported Tuesday.
The woman then led officers on a brief high-speed chase on Interstate 680 before crashing in Pleasanton and being taken back into custody.
The incident started at about 3:30 p.m. Monday when a CHP officer attempted to pull over a 1995 Acura Integra on northbound Highway 680 near Scott Creek Road in Fremont, CHP Officer Steve Creel said.
The driver of the Acura, 26-year-old Miguel Velasquez, failed to yield and continued on the highway, exiting at Calaveras Road, where the officer was able to maneuver his vehicle to force Velasquez to stop.
Velasquez and 19-year-old Itse Y Murillo Orozco both ran from the vehicle, but Orozco was immediately caught, handcuffed, and placed in a patrol car, according to Creel.
The officer driving the patrol car assisted in the foot pursuit of Velasquez, who was eventually taken into custody after being shot with a Taser gun.
While Velasquez was being pursued, Orozco allegedly maneuvered her handcuffs to the front of her body, something Creel said "some people can do if they're flexible enough."
Orozco was able to exit the rear of the patrol car and moved into the driver's seat. The officers noticed Orozco's movement, but she drove away in the CHP car before they could stop her, according to Creel.
Orozco re-entered northbound I-680, driving at more than 100 mph with other CHP vehicles in pursuit.
She tried to exit at Stoneridge Drive from the far left lane and made it to the offramp before she lost control of the car and it overturned, Creel said.
The vehicle landed on its wheels in a landscaped area to the left of the offramp. Orozco ran but was taken into custody after being shot with a Taser gun, according to Creel.
Orozco was arrested for felony evading arrest, felony driving under the influence of a controlled substance, as well as a variety of misdemeanors, Creel said.
Velasquez was also arrested on various charges. The CHP eventually discovered that the Acura had been stolen, according to Creel.
He said authorities are trying to figure out why the two suspects were so determined to escape.
"We've certainly had aggressive vehicle pursuits and aggressive pursuits on foot, but this is pretty extreme," Creel said.
Velasquez and Orozco were both taken to a local hospital with minor injuries before being booked into Santa Rita Jail.