MONTAGUE, Calif. — Deputies took two teens into custody on Sunday morning after a pursuit, crash, and standoff in Montague that lasted more than an hour.
Just before 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, a deputy with the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office noticed a late-model Dodge Durango heading along County Road A-12 near the Siskiyou County town of Grenada. The driver was going under the speed limit, swerving, driving erratically, and the vehicle itself had no license plates.
When the deputy attempted a traffic stop, the driver refused to pull over and continued forward — still swerving, but now going over the speed limit. The driver slowed and almost stopped after entering the city limits of Montague, but then sped away again, nearly smashing into a parked car.
A short time later, the driver crashed through a fence and came to rest in a field near the 400-block of N 11th Street in Montague, according to the Sheriff's Office.
"A juvenile passenger exited the vehicle and was detained but the driver refused to surrender, and a standoff ensued," the agency said.
The driver reportedly remained belligerent and indicated to deputies that he had a gun, the Sheriff's Office said, making "provocative and abrupt movements and gestures" until deputies called in reinforcements. The Sheriff's Office Special Response Team (SRT), a hostage negotiator, and a canine unit soon arrived at the scene.
"After nearly an hour, and continued failure of the driver to comply with law enforcement demands to surrender, and based on the potential threat of a firearm and deliberate resistance, a departmental canine was deployed to de-escalate the situation and minimize the chance of an armed encounter with the driver and occupant of the vehicle," SCSO said.
The K-9 took the 17-year-old suspect down, allowing officers to take them into custody. He reportedly had minor injuries from the crash and following take-down.
"Although no firearm was found in the vehicle after the suspect’s arrest, an object was found in the vehicle that could reasonably resemble a handgun at a distance and the suspect’s provocative, defiant, belligerent, and resistant behavior needlessly escalated the stand-off, but we are grateful more serious ramifications did not arise from the encounter," Sheriff Jon Lopey said.
After being examined, treated, and released from the hospital, the driver was given over to the Siskiyou County Department of Probation on charges for DUII, felony resisting arrest, and felony evading arrest, with the potential for more charges. He'll likely report to Juvenile Court within the next 48 hours, the Sheriff's Office said.
"The vehicle belonged to the parents of the involved juveniles and it appears the SUV was taken without permission," SCSO said. "The investigation has revealed the driver was not licensed to operate a motor vehicle upon a highway."
The juvenile passenger was released to a parent, the Sheriff's Office said, and there is no indication that they will be facing charges.