Wild chase nabs 2nd suspect
The second suspect in the Jan. 27 Alta Sierra home invasion and armed robbery was caught in a violent confrontation after Nevada County sheriff’s investigators tracked him down in Sacramento County late Friday.
Mark Dewayne Bowden, 23, of Grass Valley, fled in a car after ramming sheriff’s cruisers and a semitrailer, injuring one of the officers. Then he took off on foot before being tackled and subdued.
At one point in the chase, neighbors helped by using flashlights to point out Bowden’s location to his pursuers.
Bowden’s alleged partner, 22-year-old Terry Pettigrew, was arrested Thursday afternoon after leading officers on a short pursuit through downtown Nevada City before crashing his car on Bridge Street near Deer Creek. After the crash, Pettigrew escaped across the creek, starting a five-hour manhunt.
Pettigrew and Bowden are suspected of entering the home of Richard R. Mayer, 49, last Tuesday night, hitting him on the head with a golf club and robbing him at gunpoint. They reportedly stole a jar of coins and casino chips.
Mayer said Pettigrew was a former employee of his and probably targeted him because he knew Mayer had money.
The sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force determined that Bowden was a suspect and pinpointed his location Friday in North Highlands, in Sacramento County. Surveillance was set up that evening around the apartment in which he was believed to be staying, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Tom Carrington.
“We were up the whole night,” he said.
Bowden had two active warrants for his arrest for possession of stolen property and drug crimes.
At about 11 p.m., Bowden came out of the apartment with an 18-year-old woman and the two got into a car, with Bowden sitting behind the wheel.
Sheriff’s investigators attempted to block in the car and Bowden “rammed one of our unmarked vehicles,” Carrington said.
An officer was pinned by the suspect’s car but was not seriously hurt, Carrington said.
Bowden took off with officers in pursuit, drove one mile into a cul-de-sac, and was again blocked in, according to Carrington.
The suspect again tried to break through the blockade and collided with a semitrailer. He then jumped out of the car and ran through an apartment complex, Carrington said.
“It was pretty wild,” the officer said.
That’s when residents started coming out of their apartments and began shining flashlights on the suspect, helping the officers in their pursuit. “A bunch of citizens who were fed up with meth came out to help,” Carrington said.
Bowden was eventually tackled by investigators and arrested. The teenager in the vehicle turned out to be its registered owner and was not held, he said.
Investigators later took a “fairly significant amount of meth and anabolic steroids” from the North Highlands apartment, Carrington said.
Three other people in the apartment were arrested on drug charges and taken to Sacramento County Jail.
Bowden was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional Facility in Nevada City at 4:33 a.m. Saturday on charges of first-degree robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of amphetamines, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
He also will be charged in Sacramento County with reckless driving, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, possession of a controlled substance and possession of controlled-substance paraphernalia.
Bowden’s capture was similar to that of Pettigrew, his alleged accomplice.
Pettigrew’s mother tipped officers Thursday that he was hiding out at the National Hotel in Nevada City, according to sources. A Nevada City police officer stopped Pettigrew shortly after he got into his Camaro, but Sheriff Keith Royal said that when he noticed other officers, he took off. Carrington had to jump out of the way when the suspect suddenly slammed into reverse and hit a police car.
After crashing the car on Bridge Street, the suspect took off.
At about 3 p.m., Nevada City police received a call from a resident on Nile Street who said someone fitting Pettigrew’s description had knocked on the door asking for help, according to the sheriff’s office. Plainclothes officers spotted the suspect behind a Chevron gas station on Sacramento Street.
Pettigrew reportedly tried to run but was blocked by a sheriff’s cruiser. He was taken into custody after a short struggle, Royal said.
The sheriff said Pettigrew was found with coins and other evidence that may link him to Tuesday’s home invasion.
There is also evidence that might connect Pettigrew to a Jan. 8 home invasion, in which a 52-year-old Grass Valley woman was hit over the head with a flashlight by an intruder in her North Ponderosa Way home, Royal said. In that case, one pound of medical marijuana was stolen.
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