Authorities allege that a 20-year-old man attacked a woman with his skateboard in Solvang today, stole her keys and car, and then led authorities on an erratic, high-speed chase toward Santa Barbara on Highways 246 and 154 before sideswiping one car and running head-on into another just north of San Antonio Creek Road on the ocean side of San Marcos Pass. The string of chaotic events shut down Highway 154 for about 30 minutes.
The attack occurred just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday outside of Solvang School in the 500 block of Atterdag Road. Authorities caught up to the stolen car on Highway 246 near Santa Ynez High School, and according to Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars, the suspect “would speed up and drive erratically, at times crossing into oncoming traffic.” When the vehicle, a Mazda, turned onto Highway 154, a Sheriff’s helicopter was deployed, as were California Highway Patrol officers and more Sheriff’s deputies. As the chase continued at high speeds on Highway 154, the pursuing authorities backed off while the helicopter kept the vehicle in view.
According to Sugars, the suspect’s vehicle sideswiped a car when it swerved into the opposite lane. The 20-year-old then crossed the double yellow lines again once on the Santa Barbara side of the mountain, and smashed head-on into a pickup truck being driven by an 86-year-old Ventura County man.
The suspect, who sustained some cuts, was arrested and is currently being medically evaluated. A female driver of the car that was sideswiped was taken to the hospital via ambulance for what appear to be non-life-threatening injuries. The 86-year-old man didn’t suffer serious injuries.