Wild Chase Ends When Man Is Captured After Fording Redwood Creek Naked
The driver of a stolen car led a California Highway Patrol Officer on a pursuit that included speeds of over 100 mph and a naked swim. On Monday, January 15, about 12:30 p.m., the owner of a black 1997 Honda Civic left the vehicle running with the keys in it in McKinleyville, said Paul Craft, the California Highway Patrol Humboldt Area Public Information Officer.
Garrett Wild, age 27, allegedly jumped in the vehicle and drove off.
The owner called law enforcement and at approximately 12:35 p.m., a call to be on the lookout went out to officers, said Craft. A CHP officer was dispatched to the scene. But while on his way southbound on Hwy 101 near Trinidad, he saw a black Honda Civic headed northbound. The officer turned and followed.
“The plate matched,” Craft said. “Before the officer could initiate a traffic stop, it accelerated to 100 mph,” he explained. “The driver was using both sides of the road, driving recklessly,” he said. “They continued through Orick. The suspect tried to make a right turn onto Bald Hills Road. He didn’t make the turn and hit the guardrail.”
The suspect got out of the vehicle and fled on foot, said Craft.
According to a witness to the crash who didn’t want to be named, “There was a cop yelling something like down on the ground now,” she told us.
Craft said that the suspect while fleeing on foot “tumbled down the briars into [Redwood Creek].”
Meanwhile, said the witness, more law enforcement arrived. “[Then there were] more sirens and more cars, including a Highway Patrol vehicle and 4 or 5 other white vehicles,” she told us.
Meanwhile, Craft explained, law enforcement including the original CHP officer plus several more, two state park rangers, and deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office set up a perimeter.
The witness told us, “[There was] lots of yelling and lots of white vehicles roaring around….[T]hen about an hour later, they started yelling again.
The suspect had been located. Garrett Wild, age 27, was arrested for having stolen a vehicle, driving on suspended license, having an outstanding felony warrant, and violation of probation.