Dangerous I-10 pursuit in Blythe ends with arrest of AZ man

BLYTHE, Calif. — Authorities say an Arizona man was arrested after leading deputies on a dangerous, high-speed pursuit on Interstate 10 near the Arrowhead Highway in Blythe, just west of the California and Arizona border early Saturday morning, April 3.

Although the man tried walking away from his vehicle after it became stuck, he was quickly apprehended, according to Sheriff’s officials who also said a subsequent search of the suspect’s vehicle uncovered a loaded handgun and suspected narcotics.

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Deputies assigned to the Colorado River Sheriff’s Station initiated a vehicle pursuit on a suspected impaired driver around 3:47 a.m., Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Ed Reynoso later said of the incident and arrest.

The driver, later identified as 37-year-old, Jesus Alberto Tapia, of Glendale, AZ, fled from deputies in an extremely reckless manner, without regard for the safety of deputies or other citizens, according to Reynoso; who said, “Tapia drove … at excessive speeds, weaving in and out of traffic, and nearly collided with another vehicle.”

Tapia eventually exited at the Mesa Drive off-ramp from the interstate, where he “failed to make the curve on the off-ramp, drove into the dirt, and proceeded to get his vehicle stuck,” according to Reynoso.

“Tapia exited the vehicle and attempted to walk away but was immediately apprehended,” Reynoso continued.

During a subsequent search of Tapia’s vehicle, deputies located a loaded handgun and suspected narcotics located in the vehicle.

Tapia was arrested and booked into the Blythe Jail for felony evading, possession of narcotics while armed, possession of narcotics for sale, transportation of narcotics for sale, and driving under the influence, according to the Sergeant.

Online jail records indicate Tapia remains in custody at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $100,000 bail or bond.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Deputy Phipps at the Colorado River Sheriff’s Station by calling (760) 921-7900. Callers can refer to incident file number A210930010 and can remain anonymous.



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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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