Slow Speed Chase Suspect Arrested in Tompkins Hill Area Yesterday

On Sunday, January 26, multiple readers contacted the Lost Coast Outpost about a multi-vehicle, multi-agency law enforcement pursuit of a white Toyota Camry. According to these reports, the chase was often conducted at very slow speeds.  Understandably, people wanted to know what was going on.

LoCO put up a post with the little information we had, and, true to the nature of blogging, we received input from our readers including the video below. Yet, the information was incomplete. 


Today, LoCO’s Booked showed the arrest of a man that several readers had identified as a possible suspect.

We contacted the Fortuna Police Department (FPD or FOPD on Booked) and Lt. Matt Eberhardt described what happened.

On January 26, at around 9 a.m., officers responded to a report of an unwanted subject in the 2500 block of Kenmar in Fortuna. There, an alleged victim, who had had a previous relationship with Joshua Robert Ewing (age 30) and had a restraining order against him, reported that there had been domestic violence incident, a violation of the previous restraining order and trespassing by Ewing. According to Eberhardt, Ewing had been “unwanted and showed back up and committed the alleged domestic violence.”

Before the responding officers arrived, Ewing reportedly left in unknown vehicle traveling in an unknown direction.

Officers tried to find him. An 836 was issued, which Eberhardt explained, “basically…allows the officer to write a warrant for his arrest but allows other agencies to arrest him pending a warrant being issued.”

About 5 p.m. that same day, a Cal Fire law enforcement officer was traveling south on Hwy 101 near Eureka and observed the suspect, Joshua Ewing, traveling south in a white Toyota Camry.  “That officer notified our officers.” Eberhardt said. “Our officers waited at Palmer Blvd.”  There the officers pulled in behind Ewing and initiated a traffic stop between the Main and 12th Street exits. 

After stopping, Eberhardt said, “Ewing takes off. He continues southbound on 101.” The two Fortuna units, the Cal Fire law enforcement officer, CHP, and eventually, Rio Dell, join in the pursuit as the suspect continues to drive along Hwy 101.

“Basically,” Eberhardt said, “[the suspect] continued south to near Myers Flat.”  He failed to yield but, Eberhardt said, neither was he going fast.  It was “a slow moving pursuit,” according to Eberhardt.

“The suspect called the Fortuna Police Department during the pursuit,” Eberhardt explained. “He told the dispatcher that he wasn’t going to stop.”

The decision was made to halt the pursuit, said Eberhardt, because

…we knew who he was, we knew there was no immediate further threat to the public by him that we had knowledge of, [and] it was a slow moving pursuit. The longer we’re in [pursuit] the more risk there was to the public. We didn’t want to risk his safety, our safety, the public’s safety so we terminated the pursuit.

The following day, at 7:30 on Monday morning, Ewing was located in the Tompkins Hill area by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department. Fortuna Police were called in to assist.

According to Eberhardt, Ewing was “agitated and uncooperative.”  The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy “displayed the taser” and the suspect surrendered and was taken in to custody.


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