Driver arrested after police pursuit from Cotati to Santa Rosa

SANTA ROSA (BCN)---Cotati police arrested a Sonoma County man suspected of stealing a 2003 Crown Victoria after a pursuit on northbound U.S. Highway 101 this morning.

The California Highway Patrol asked Cotati police around 11 a.m. to find the vehicle that resembles a police car that was stolen in Petaluma today, Cotati police Lt. Bill French said.

Cotati police Officer Chris Kaupe spotted the car on Old Redwood Highway in Cotati, and he and Officer B. Gallo tried to stop the car on Southwest Boulevard in Rohnert Park, French said.

The officers in separate patrol cars pursued the Ford through Rohnert Park, Penngrove, back to Cotati then onto northbound Highway 101, French said.

The CHP and Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park police joined the pursuit that ended when the Ford crashed into several vehicles on the Hearn Avenue overpass of the highway in Santa Rosa.

The driver, identified as 38-year-old James Talbot Gallagher, ran from the scene and tried to open the doors of two vehicles as he fled, French said. Police arrested Gallagher at the west end of the overpass.

Gallagher is suspected of stealing money and a vape pen from a vehicle in the parking lot of the Lowe's store in Cotati, and he was in possession of methamphetamine when he was arrested, French said.

Gallagher was booked in the Sonoma County Jail after a medical evaluation for DUI causing injury, attempted carjacking, resisting, obstructing an officer, possession of stolen property, evading a police officer, hit-and-run and possession of a controlled substance.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court.

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