RIDGECREST, Calif. (KGET) — A simple traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase and foot pursuit for officers with the Ridgecrest Police Department and a Ridgecrest resident.
Police tried to stop a black Mercedes in the 1200 block of West Iowa Avenue Thursday. The driver refused to stop and led police on a car chase running several stop signs and exceeding speeds of 100 miles per hour.
The driver, James Ihle, 23, eventually lost control of the car at the intersection of North Mahan Street and West Las Flores Avenue. He then fled on foot.
Officers began a yard-to-yard search for Ihle but were unable to find him. Officers said they found methamphetamine and a loaded firearm, which had been reported stolen earlier this week, in the vehicle.
Several hours later, someone reported to RPD that their car had been stolen out of their garage. An officer found the stolen vehicle in the 1400 block of West Benson Avenue in the area where the aforementioned pursuit started. Officers also obtained evidence that Ihle was in a home in the area.
Officers surrounded the home in question and confirmed with the homeowner that Ihle was inside. Officers entered the home with K9 Max and said they found Ihle barricaded in a locked bedroom in the house after several announcements and requests to surrender.
K9 Max was able to enter the bedroom and apprehend Ihle.
Officers said after a brief struggle, Ihle was arrested. Ihle faces various charges including failure to yield, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possessing a controlled substance while carrying a loaded gun, residential burglary, vehicle theft, resisting arrest and various other felony charges.