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Aptos man accused of trying to run vehicles off road, leading police on chase

sc county assault chase arrest
Scotts Valley Police

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Santa Cruz police said they have arrested a man accused of trying to run vehicles off the road before leading officers on a chase.

At about 7 a.m. Friday, police got multiple calls about a man in a vehicle with a knife driving recklessly in the city. More calls then came in about the vehicle intentionally running others off the road on Highway 17.

Officers said they found the vehicle on Ocean Street, but it did not stop and led officers on a chase. The chase continued north on Highway 17 and into the Santa Cruz Mountains.

During the chase, officers said they found out that the vehicle was wanted in connection to an incident a few days before that involved brandishing a gun and threatening to shoot law enforcement.

As officers followed the vehicle, they said they would end the chase because of the suspect's reckless driving, but the driver continued to run vehicles and pedestrians off the road.

Eventually, police said the vehicle stalled out on Glenwood Drive in Scotts Valley and the suspect tried to get away on a bicycle. He was arrested a few blocks away.

Police identified the suspect as Aptos resident James Johnston and said they found a knife at the scene. He was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing a knife, hit and run and reckless evading with a vehicle.

Police said one person had minor injuries as a result of the suspect vehicle hitting hers during the chase. Officers are working to find the suspect's motive and find out if any mental health issues were a factor.

Anyone with information is asked to call Santa Cruz police at 831-420-5820.

Crime / Santa Cruz / Santa Cruz County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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