Police arrested a Simi Valley man after a high-speed chase through the Simi and San Fernando valleys early Sunday that ended when a patrol car was rammed.
Officers said Chad Stukey, 26, smashed his white Chevy Beretta into a Simi Valley police car driven by Officer James Wismar, who suffered a scraped right knee. Wismar was treated at Simi Valley Hospital and released.
The chase began when an officer saw a vehicle without headlights on fail to stop at a red light at Royal Avenue and Sycamore Drive shortly after 3 a.m. When police tried to pull the car over, the motorist continued driving west through the city and then entered the eastbound 118 Freeway, reaching speeds of 80 mph.
Police followed the Beretta until it exited at Woodley Avenue near Granada Hills and drove along surface streets through North Hills, Panorama City and Arleta, where the driver finally stopped at an MTA bus parking lot on Branford Street. After the police arrived, the motorist rammed Wismar's patrol car. The chase ended at 3:41 a.m.
Stukey was arrested on suspicion of felony evading arrest and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. He was being held at the jail at the East Valley Sheriff's Station in Thousand Oaks in lieu of $5,000 bail, police said.
"We haven't found any explanation for the chase and he wouldn't say," said Simi Valley Sgt. Carl Becker.
A search of Stukey's car found nothing to indicate a motive for his behavior, Becker said. Alcohol was not involved.