CHP abandoned pursuits twice for safety reasons, officer say. Parkview placed on lockdown for a short time
By Doug Keeler
Midway Driller Editor
Parkview School was placed on lockdown briefly Monday morning while law enforcement officers arrested a vehicle theft suspect in front of the school.
The incidents involved law enforcement officers from two counties and ended with officers from the Buttonwillow California Highway Patrol office arresting the suspect with assistance from Taft Police and Kern County Sheriff's deputies.
The suspect was identified as Jesse James Jonasson, 21 from Lompoc.
Before he left the stolen pickup at A Street Park, Jonasson led California Highway Patrol officers from Kern and San Luis Obispo counties on two high speed pursuits that were terminated by officers for safety reasons.
California Highway Patrol officer Adam Taylor said the incident started early Monday morning on Eastbound Highway 46 in San Luis Obispo County.
CHP officers there spotted a truck reported stolen out of Tulare County and attempted a traffic stop. Jonasson failed to yield, and a pursuit started.
The pursuit was halted by officers when the driver made unsafe passes as he fled, Taylor said.
Buttonwillow CHP officers monitored the chase via radio, and one officer located the car going south on Highway 33 in the McKittrick area.
Another pursuit started, but this, too, was halted by officers for public safety concerns.
Taft Police were notified that the truck was heading toward town on Highway 33, and CHP and Sheriff's deputies continued toward Taft.
Taylor said a Taft Police officer spotted the stolen truck abandoned at A Street Park about 9 a.m.
Arriving CHP officers recognized the suspect walking down the 600 block of A street, and he was arrested without incident.
The lockdown was lifted after the suspect was in custody.