Man caught in pursuit suspected of kidnapping
BARSTOW • A male passenger was safely caught after a nearly hour-long high-speed chase that began near California City on Monday.
He has drug- and gun-related warrants in the Bay Area and is suspected of kidnapping the woman who was behind the wheel, authorities said Tuesday.
Upon learning earlier in the morning of suspicious circumstances regarding a rented Hyundai Sonata, Daly City police advised local authorities that Charles Chatman, 27, was headed to Las Vegas and allegedly holding a female against her will, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.
The two were detained near the Highway 58 off-ramp at West Main Street after eluding authorities for roughly 70 miles and veering recklessly at times onto the shoulder and into oncoming traffic in a chase that often exceeded speeds of 100 mph. The 34-year-old woman, who is not being named for confidentiality reasons, has since been released from custody, Barstow CHP Officer Don Spiker confirmed.
Daly City authorities on Tuesday denied a request to confirm the relationship between the two, only saying that Chatman is from San Francisco and the woman is from Daly City, deferring all other questions to CHP.
The pursuit began when Mojave CHP spotted the vehicle a little after 4:30 p.m. Monday on eastbound Highway 58 just west of California City Boulevard, Spiker said.
After officers initiated an enforcement stop, the vehicle fled and continued east on the highway at speeds up to 130 mph, a dispatcher reported Monday. Barstow CHP took over the chase near Harper Lake; by then, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and CHP air units were involved.
The vehicle hit two spike strips — one near Community Boulevard and another west of Main Street — ultimately losing inflation to three tires. The vehicle slowed to 15 mph as it exited Highway 58 at West Main Street, according to the news release.
Both Chatman and the woman were apprehended following a short foot chase after they left the still-rolling vehicle, the news release stated.
Chatman, currently in custody at the Barstow sheriff’s jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, is suspected of kidnapping and resisting arrest and is wanted on a $100,000 warrant in Solano County for drug- and gun-related charges, booking records show.
He is also wanted for an unspecified probation violation out of Contra Costa County, according to booking records.
While Chatman was believed to possibly be armed and dangerous, a gun was not found at the scene, according to Spiker.
Barstow police and BNSF railroad officials assisted in the arrest. CHP and Daly City police are investigating. Potential additional charges are pending investigation.
Chatman is expected to be arraigned Wednesday at Victorville Superior Court, records show.
Shea Johnson may be reached at 760-955-5368 or SJohnson@VVDailyPress.com.