SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A driver who failed to stop for a traffic break Sunday morning in Geyserville and nearly struck a California Highway Patrol officer was arrested following a pursuit and prolonged standoff that closed U.S. Highway 101.
The CHP had temporarily stopped traffic around 6:20 a.m. on the highway in Geyserville during PG&E line work when a driver in a white Honda Civic drove around the closure and came close to hitting an officer.
A chase ensued southbound on Highway 101 with the Honda exceeding 100 mph at times before being stopped by a spike strip at Shiloh Road, coming to a stop just north of River Road, south of the Sonoma County airport.
The highway was closed to traffic in both directions but the driver refused to exit the Honda and, after a long standoff in which negotiators from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office attempted convince him to come out, the Sonoma County SWAT team was summoned.
SWAT personnel determined the man was alone in the Honda and used gas and a stun grenade to remove him from the car.
The driver, 56-year-old Eric Van Gelder of Geyserville, was taken to Sutter Hospital for medical clearance.
He will be charged with evading police, driving under the influence of drugs and delaying/resisting arrest, the CHP said.
The CHP said that, although the standoff was on the southbound side of 101, both directions were closed “for the safety of the public and personnel on scene.”
The northbound lanes reopened at 9:18 a.m. and southbound lanes reopened at 9:31 a.m.
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