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Scene at roundabout leads to car chase and arrest

Suspect in custody as of Monday

Around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night regional law enforcement dispatch received a call about a vehicle traveling on East Main Street that had allegedly driven over the roundabout that connects East Main and Idaho-Maryland Road.

The roundabout was not damaged, but the vehicle was shortly thereafter found inside the Chevron gas station parking lot nearby. According to Sergeant Brian Blakemore of Grass Valley Police Department, officers pulled into the gas station parking lot for what was to be a welfare check.

At this time, the male suspect re-entered the vehicle and took off. Officers immediately tried to stop the vehicle, which failed to yield, beginning a pursuit which led officers from the on-ramp at South Bound Highway 49 to McKnight Way.

The suspect then led law enforcement around the back of the McKnight Crossing Shopping Center and across the overpass to La Barr Meadows.

“As it goes down La Barr Meadows (the vehicle) is crossing over the double yellow lines, the speeds are fluctuating greatly, which really indicated a possible DUI,” said Blakemore.

The suspect drove into a residential neighborhood in Alta Sierra and reportedly fled from the vehicle towards the front door of a residence where Blakemore said he proceeded to pound on the door of the house.

“The subject inside—not knowing what was going on—opened the door to investigate,” added Blakemore, “and the suspect thrust the door open.

“At that point officers had already parked in the driveway as well and had approached with K9 Romeo to the front porch, and as the suspect thrust his way into the resident’s home K9 Romeo stopped the suspect who was then extracted back to the front porch and was taken into custody.”

The suspect, identified as Justin Lavis of Concord, was charged with DUI, reckless evasion, driving on a suspended license, and resisting arrest. Officers had probable cause to believe that the suspect had been consuming alcohol that night, though he was uncooperative with field sobriety tests and indicated he would be “violent” with officers and phlebotomists.

Blakemore said Lavis was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital where he was given medical attention and cleaned up before being booked at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility. As of Monday afternoon his bail was set at $35,000.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com


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