Three motorcyclists led police on a high-speed chase Sunday night across central and northern Orange County, splitting up at a freeway interchange and racing off at speeds in excess of 100 m.p.h. until two were trapped on side streets and arrested.
No accidents or injuries resulted, and the third motorcyclist--who took a separate freeway and was pursued by a police helicopter pilot, whose radio did not work--remained at large late Sunday night, authorities said.
Anaheim police said the two men arrested were to be released after being cited for misdemeanor violations of speeding in excess of 100 m.p.h., reckless driving and attempting to evade a police officer. Their motorcycles were impounded.
Names of the two men were not available late Sunday night because officers were still writing out their citations.
The chase began at 8:25 p.m. on Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa, and ended about 20 minutes later in Anaheim and Fullerton.
The three motorcyclists fled when a Costa Mesa patrolman in a car attempted to pull them all over for an apparent traffic violation, Costa Mesa Police Lt. John Moquin said. The patrolman gave chase, but the much faster motorcycles quickly pulled away, and the unidentified officer turned over the pursuit to a Costa Mesa police helicopter unit, Moquin said.
The helicopter tracked the motorcyclists as they fled north on the Costa Mesa Freeway, then west on the Garden Grove Freeway. At the interchange between the Garden Grove, Orange and Santa Ana freeways, two of the motorcyclists veered north onto the Orange Freeway, and the third headed north on the Santa Ana Freeway, said a dispatch coordinator at the Orange County Communications Center, which helped direct the chase.
Followed by Helicopter
The Costa Mesa helicopter followed the motorcyclist on the Santa Ana Freeway, but the pilot was unable to continue the chase because his radio malfunctioned, said the dispatch coordinator, who would not give his name.
An Anaheim police helicopter picked up the chase on the Orange Freeway and directed ground patrols from Anaheim and Fullerton as the motorcyclists sped to the Riverside Freeway and then went off in opposite directions, the dispatch coordinator said.
The motorcyclist who turned east on the Riverside Freeway exited the freeway at Lakeview Avenue in Anaheim and surrendered as officers boxed him in, Anaheim Police Sgt. Harold Parkison said. The motorcyclist who went west exited the freeway at Euclid Street in Fullerton, then was cornered a few blocks later when he turned into a dead-end street on Highland Avenue, Parkison said.
The motorcyclist left his bike and ran into a nearby apartment complex but was quickly found by police dogs and placed under arrest.