A Tri-Valley man was taken into custody early Saturday morning after allegedly leading Pleasanton police on a chase that ended when his van caught fire shortly after driving over a spike strip in San Ramon.
The arrestee -- a 60-year-old man from Pleasanton -- eventually surrendered with his vehicle engulfed in flames and a Pleasanton police K-9 unit on scene to help with the apprehension, according to San Ramon police Lt. Tami Williams.
The situation began unfolding around 1:30 a.m. Saturday when police in Pleasanton received a call from Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare about a van blocking the entrance to the hospital's emergency room, according to Capt. Kurt Schlehuber of the Pleasanton Police Department. Hospital security had asked the driver to move, and noticed he seemed intoxicated.
Pleasanton police spotted the van stopped on southbound Santa Rita Road at the West Las Positas Boulevard intersection, Schlehuber said.
"His driver’s door was open and he was sitting there idle while the signal light went through an entire cycle," Schlehuber said. "Officers attempted to contact him and he closed his door, made a U-turn and began to travel north on Santa Rita Road into Dublin. He failed to stop as he traveled through Dublin, back to Pleasanton and eventually ended in San Ramon."
The incident crossed into the San Ramon city limits just before 2 a.m. Saturday, with the Pleasanton police requesting assistance with the pursuit of the van entering San Ramon police's jurisdiction, according to Williams.
Police deployed a spike strip on Bollinger Canyon Road, which the suspect's van drove over and then continued moving westbound for about another quarter-mile before coming to rest near the North Gale Ridge Road intersection, Williams said.
"The suspect attempted to flee, however the vehicle was incapacitated and the vehicle began overheat, causing a fire to ignite," the lieutenant said. "Pleasanton PD was on scene with their K9 unit to assist with the apprehension. The vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames, forcing the driver to exit the vehicle."
The man was arrested on suspicion of felony evasion and resisting arrest. "It is not clear why the suspect fled from Pleasanton or our agency," Williams said.
The arrestee's name is being withheld in accordance with Embarcadero Media's policy on identifying suspects before prosecutors file formal charges for certain crimes.