A high speed pursuit between CHP officers and a motorcyclist on Tuesday ended in Goleta with the rider in custody. The chase, which reportedly reached speeds of 130 mph on Highway 101 and surface streets, is the second pursuit this week involving the CHP and motorcyclists; on June 2, three motorcyclists were chased and arrested after fleeing from officers.
As reported by the CHP, Tuesday’s drama began when Officer Graham Walter, who was monitoring traffic speed from the highway’s shoulder directly below Glen Annie-Storke Road overpass, observed a dark motorcycle travelling southbound at approximately 80 mph. The driver, identified as Venice resident Vernon Thompson, reportedly accelerated to 130 mph after Walter signaled him to pull over. With the CHP officer in full pursuit, Thompson exited the highway at the Los Carneros off ramp before turning right onto eastbound Calle Real.
The report continued that Thompson then gunned his motorcycle to 80 mph on Calle Real, dangerously blowing past pedestrians and bicyclists. Walter briefly lost sight of the fleeing motorcyclist when he turned right onto Momouth Avenue, but was directed in Thompson’s direction by a nearby citizen. After turning right on onto Southbound Valdez Avenue, the suspect then turned back on to Calle Real, traveling east. Once on Calle real, Thompson reportedly again sped up to 80 mph before arriving at the northbound highway entrance at Fairview avenue.
There, reported officers, Thompson apparently became confused, pulled over on the shoulder, and gave up. He was arrested without further incident and booked for reckless driving, evading a peace officer, and exceeding the maximum speed limit.