Federal fugitives who hit Redding officer with SUV nabbed after wild pursuit, multiple crashes
REDDING, Calif., — Authorities say a suspicious vehicle investigation Friday morning led to a wild and dangerous pursuit that began after a pair of federal fugitives struck and dragged a City of Redding police officer with their SUV. The wanted felons then led officials on a chase that traveled through several residential neighborhoods, a park, and along hiking and walking trails; sending families scrambling for safety. The officer suffered unspecified minor injuries when he was struck but is recovering, according to Redding PD.
Although pursuing officials attempted but failed to end the chase by ramming the fleeing suspect’s SUV with two patrol vehicles, the vehicle pursuit finally came to an end and turned into a foot chase when the fleeing vehicle ran a stop sign and plowed into another vehicle, injuring its two occupants.
The two federally sought felons, since identified as Tyson Popejoy-Farrell, 26, of Redding, and Miranda Garrett, 24, of Shingletown, were ultimately apprehended and in addition to their federal charges they now face a myriad of felony and misdemeanor local charges, according to officials.
As a result of this incident, several area schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution. Once the pair was in custody and no longer posed a threat to public safety those school lockdowns were immediately lifted, allowing the schools to return to normal operating procedures.
LEADING THE SCNS HEADLINES:
Friday morning’s violent and potentially incident began around 11:17 a.m. when Redding officers were dispatched to a residential neighborhood in northeast Redding after receiving reports of a suspicious vehicle parked in the area, Redding Police Corporal Aaron Hollemon has since reported.
The 911 caller reported that the vehicle, a gold GMC Envoy, was occupied by a man and woman who appeared to be unconscious and possibly in need of medical assistance.
When officers and other emergency personnel arrived in the area, they found Popejoy-Farrell in the driver’s seat and Garrett in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.
“Both subjects were holding knives, with the blades exposed, in their hands and appeared to be sleeping. There was also what appeared to be drug paraphernalia observed inside the vehicle” Holleman explained.
A wild and dangerous vehicle pursuit that traveled through several residential neighborhoods, a park and along hiking and walking trails – sending families scrambling for safety – came to a dramatic ending and turned into a foot chase after two federally wanted fugitives crashed into another vehicle Friday morning. Redding PD photos
Fearing the pair might be in medical distress, officers at the scene opened the driver’s side door of the SUV – waking the couple in the process – and ordered Popejoy-Farrell to drop his knife and comply with their orders.
“Popejoy-Farrell refused to comply and raised the knife in a threatening manner at the officers, while still seated in the vehicle,” Holleman described; saying that the wanted felon refused to comply and started the SUV.
Not wanting the incident to escalate or for the suspects to flee, an officer reached into the vehicle through the open door and grabbed Popejoy-Farrel’s arm, leading to a violent struggle for control over the SUV.
“Popejoy-Farrell then put the vehicle in drive, and drove away while an officer was still holding onto his arm at the open driver’s door. As a result, Popejoy-Farrell struck the officer with his vehicle, thereby completing the criminal act of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer,” the Sergeant explained; saying the officer sustained minor injuries as a result of being dragged and struck.
As Popejoy-Farrell and Garrett fled the area, officers initiated a vehicle pursuit and requested additional resources, including a California Highway Patrol helicopter.
The chase continued through several residential neighborhoods and adjacent major thoroughfares, and at one point, Popejoy-Farrell drove onto the sidewalk of Old Alturas Road in an attempt to evade pursuing officers.
As the pursuit entered the Lema Ranch area and the fleeing driver reached the dead end of Minder Drive, he recklessly drove up and over a curb, crashed through some bushes, and raced into Minder Park. They then drove at high speed onto the pedestrian walking trails of Lema Ranch.
“Pedestrians, including several children, were forced to flee out of the way of Popejoy-Farrell’s vehicle due to his dangerous driving and erratic behavior,” Holleman described.
Out of fear for the safety of pedestrians and citizens, officers discontinued their pursuit and officers soon lost sight of the fleeing SUV.
When a CHP – Northern Division Air Operations helicopter crew arrived overhead they quickly located the suspect’s vehicle parked and hiding under a large tree in the greenbelt area of Lema Ranch.
When they realized they had been spotted, the two suspects once again fled, eventually driving out of Lema Ranch by plowing through a fence at the west end of Cilantro Drive and heading into the Hacienda Heights residential neighborhood.
With the pursuit continuing through the residential neighborhood, and in an effort to mitigate the danger to the public “given Tyson Popejoy-Farrell’s dangerous driving and erratic behavior”, two marked Redding PD patrol vehicles intentionally rammed the SUV on Palacio Drive in an attempt to disable it, according to Holleman.
“These attempts were unsuccessful, and Popejoy-Farrell continued eastbound on Palacio Drive towards the intersection with Shasta View Drive,” the Sergeant explained.
As the suspect approached the intersection, he failed to stop or slow down for a posted stop sign and smashed broadside into a white Ford F-150 pickup truck that was passing through the intersection. The impact disabled the fleeing vehicle, at which time the two wanted felons fled on foot, running north through a greenbelt area, with officers in hot pursuit.
Both were quickly captured several hundred yards away without further incident, according to Holleman.
Wanted by the US Marshal’s Office on a pair of federal, fugitive from justice warrants, two felons who fled from officers were apprehended after the fleeing couple plowed broadside into another vehicle, injuring the pickup truck’s 68 and 62-year-old occupants. Redding PD photos
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene for the occupants of the pickup truck the fleeing couple crashed into. The 68-year-old male driver and 62-year-old female passenger, both of Redding, suffered minor injuries but were spared from worse injuries thanks to the pickup’s airbags and because both had been wearing their seatbelts when the violent collision occurred.
Inside the SUV that fled, officers located stolen property and ammunition, but no firearms, according to Holleman.
Officers conducted a records check and learned that Popejoy-Farrell was a convicted felon and also determined the wanted felon had been driving while under the influence of an opiate or opioid during the pursuit.
Officers also learned that both Popejoy-Farrell and Garrett had federal felony warrants for their arrest and were both wanted and being actively sought by the U.S. Marshals Office, according to Holleman; who did not specify why the couple was wanted by US Marshal’s.
In addition to his warrant, Popejoy-Farrell was ultimately booked into the Shasta County Jail in Redding on suspicion of exhibiting a deadly weapon to resist arrest, assault with a deadly weapon, evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for public safety, hit and run resulting in injury, driving under the influence of drugs resulting in bodily injury, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, obstructing/resisting a peace officer by means of threat or violence – all felonies. He was also booked on misdemeanor charges of hit and run resulting in property damage, reckless driving, obstructing/resisting a peace officer and driving without a license.
In addition to her arrest warrant, Garrett was booked into jail on suspicion of felony charges including hit and run resulting in injury, evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. She was also booked on misdemeanor charges of obstructing/resisting a peace officer, knowingly using personal identifying information to commit a violation and reckless driving.
Anyone with further information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Redding Police Department at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 21R069307 and can remain anonymous.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 50, 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.