ST. GEORGE – An allegedly drunken man was arrested early Tuesday morning after leading police on a high-speed chase through St. George.
While running a radar speed gun late Monday night, a police officer observed a vehicle traveling south on Dixie Drive at a high rate of speed. The radar indicated the vehicle was traveling 90 mph in a 40 mph zone, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of the arrest.
The officer caught up with the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop, the report read. However, the driver of the vehicle, later identified as 28-year-old Christopher Ventura Ancheta, accelerated through two red traffic lights before driving into oncoming travel lanes.
“The vehicle swerved into oncoming lanes of travel though there was no traffic on the road at this time,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement. “I radioed the start of the pursuit as we neared 270 E. Riverside.”
Ancheta ran two more red lights as the pursuit continued before being terminated as Ancheta turned onto River Road.
A short-time later, the officer located the unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot of 260 N. Dixie Drive. As the officer stood waiting for backup, he heard yelling in the parking lot, according to the statement. When he went to investigate, he encountered Ancheta.
“He looked at me and flicked a cigarette to the east,” the officer wrote. “He started walking towards me saying ‘Let’s go. Let’s do this.’”
The officer ordered Ancheta to the ground where he was detained in handcuffs. While speaking with Ancheta, the officer detected the odor of alcohol and noticed his speech was slurred and eyes were “red and glassy,” the report read.
“Chris stated he had drank a 12 pack of beer and then was driving his vehicle,” the officer wrote. “He admitted to knowing that officers were behind him and trying to stop him but he refused to stop. He also admitted to hitting a sign in front of Target and not remaining at the scene or filing a report.”
According to the statement, while Ancheta’s vehicle was being searched during impound, officers found an open bottle of “red strawberry beer” and a green canister that was labeled “Colorado Marijuana” that had a “distinct odor of fresh marijuana” though no substance was located.
Ancheta was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
He was charged with a third-degree felony for failure to stop at the command of an officer; three class B misdemeanors for reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia; and four class C misdemeanors for failure to remain at the scene of an accident, open container of alcohol, driving on a suspended driver’s license and no proof of insurance.
He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon in 5th District Court.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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