A Sheriff's deputy arrests Camilla DePerna

The following is a press statement issued by Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kelly Hoover on Friday night:

Three suspects are in custody following a high speed pursuit that started in the City of Buellton and ended with the vehicle hitting a Sheriff’s patrol car and crashing into a tree in a City of Santa Barbara neighborhood. The two female suspects are the same ones involved in an October 3, 2014 pursuit on Highway 154 involving the same black Cherokee Jeep. 34-year-old Shane Lydick of Thousand Oaks, 36-year-old Kristy DeLaCerna of Thousand Oaks and 24-year-old Camilla DePerna aka: Jessica Walters of Los Osos. Both Lydick and DePerna, who were both believed to be drivers at different points in the pursuit, were arrested for felony evading with a motor vehicle. All three suspects were additionally booked for possession of burglary tools. DePerna also had a no bail felony warrant for burglary. All three suspects are acquaintances.


The incident began at approximately 2:45 p.m. today, October 17, at a gas station located in the 600 block of Avenue of the Flags in the City of Buellton. Sheriff’s deputies received a report of a male suspect, Lydick, who was reportedly hitting the windows of a black Cherokee jeep with his fists and was armed with a knife. When Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they observed the Jeep leaving the gas station. The vehicle then sped onto the 101 freeway heading southbound. Sheriff’s deputies recognized the Jeep as the same vehicle that was involved in a pursuit on October 3 on Highway 154. Sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over but the driver refused to yield and a pursuit began. A Santa Barbara County Air Support unit was brought in to assist.

California Highway Patrol officers out of the Buellton station joined in the pursuit which reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. At several points while trying to evade authorities, the suspect vehicle drove on the right and left hand shoulder dangerously passing other vehicles. California Highway Patrol Officers out of the Santa Barbara office took over the pursuit in the Dos Pueblos Canyon area. The pursuit continued southbound on Highway 101 until the driver exited Turnpike Road and then traveled eastbound on Cathedral Oaks Road to Foothill Road driving recklessly with a complete disregard for public safety. In the La Colina Junior High School area, the driver crossed double yellow lines passing a school bus.

At approximately 3:10 p.m. the Jeep turned onto Alamar Road, a dead end street in the private ranch property of Willowbrook Ranch. The Air Support Unit then directed law enforcement ground units to the various locations where the Jeep was driving. At one point, DePerna exited the driver’s seat but then returned and continued driving on ranch roads trying to escape. Upon reaching the main ranch entrance, which had been blocked by law enforcement vehicles, DePerna rammed into an unoccupied Sheriff’s patrol unit then struck a pepper tree and the main ranch gate overhead sign causing it to fall down and crash. DePerna then attempted to put the vehicle in reverse at which time the Sheriff’s deputy, whose vehicle had been rammed, backed his patrol car into the Jeep pinning it between the tree and the patrol car.

Initially all three suspects refused to exit the Jeep. Law enforcement personnel broke several windows out of the vehicle and forcibly removed all three suspects, taking them into custody without further incident. No one was injured in the pursuit or crash. The Santa Barbara City Fire Department responded to assist with the crash and removal of the debris.

On October 3, DePerna and DeLaCerna were involved in a vehicle pursuit that began near the Chumash Casino and ended at Highway 154 and Cathedral Oaks. DeLaCerna was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics. Despite a lengthy search, DePerna was never located.


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