UPDATE: Suspect captured after eluding law enforcement | TheUnion.com

UPDATE: Suspect captured after eluding law enforcement

UPDATE: A man who eluded law enforcement despite a six-hour pursuit Friday was taken into custody Sunday morning in Cascade Shores.

John Wenzel Niece, 45, reportedly walked into the Cascade Shores General Store & Cafe Sunday morning and was recognized by the owner, who called 911.

Niece was booked on charges of resisting arrest, as well as outstanding warrant and violating post-release community supervision. He remained in custody in Nevada County jail without bail Sunday night, according to jail records.

For more on the story, check back with The Union.


A man suspected of attempting to assault a Yuba County officer with his vehicle led Nevada County law enforcement on a six-hour pursuit Friday, authorities said.

The man, identified as John Wenzel Niece, was last seen on foot in the Tahoe National Forest, off Chalk Bluff Road, and the search was called off about 3:30 p.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer James Cornwall.

The pursuit began around 9 a.m. after a CHP officer spotted a Chevrolet Tahoe with expired registration tabs at Highway 20 and Idaho Maryland Road, Cornwall said.

The driver failed to yield on an attempted traffic stop and instead fled up Idaho Maryland Road, he added.

“A similar vehicle was suspected in an assault with a deadly weapon on an officer in Yuba County a week prior,” Cornwall said.

The Tahoe was pursued onto Banner Lava Cap Road, then down Red Dog Cross Road to Greenhorn Creek. The Tahoe ended up crossing the creek and heading up Chalk Bluff Road, where the pursuit was taken over by a CHP helicopter and a fixed-wing plane, Cornwall said.

Niece eventually abandoned the Tahoe and fled on foot, authorities said.

“We know he was aware of the overhead pursuit because he made hand gestures and ‘dropped trou,’” Cornwall said.

Nevada and Placer county deputies and Grass Valley police officers also responded, including a K-9.

“It was a very good collaboration,” said Lt. George Steffenson.

The search was discontinued after losing Niece’s tracks, Cornwall said.

The CHP advised Niece should be considered very dangerous and warned residents not to engage hitchhikers or pedestrians in the area.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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