- Thursday January 12th, 2012 :: 05:23 p.m. PST
Early Morning Pursuit Ends With One In Custody
Public Information Release
January 12, 2012
Sergeant Steve Brooks, Public Information Officer
An early morning pursuit ended with the arrest of a 35 year old San Leandro man after he collided with a power pole and attempted to hide from deputies.
On January 12, 2012 at approximately 3:50 am, the California Highway Patrol provided information that a black sport utility vehicle had nearly collided head on with another vehicle. The vehicle was reported to be traveling North on Hwy 29 in the area of Hidden Valley Lake.
A sergeant with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, who was in the area at the time, located the vehicle in the area of Hwy 29 and “Coyote Grade.” The sergeant was able to get behind the vehicle and observed it swerving within the lane and traveling approximately 70 miles per hour. Due to the erratic driving, the sergeant suspected the driver of the vehicle may be driving while under the influence. He attempted to conduct an enforcement stop in the area of Hwy 29 and Spruce Grove Road in Lower Lake. The vehicle accelerated, started utilizing both lanes of the roadway and turned on Spruce Grove Road. The vehicle left the roadway sideswiped a tree and accelerated back onto the roadway. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Michael Stephen Rampa, turned off his vehicle lights and continued driving South on Spruce Grove Road at approximately 70 miles per hour.
Rampa failed to negotiate a right hand turn in the roadway and collided with an electrical pole in the area of Spruce Grove Road and Old Spruce Grove Road. The electrical pole sheared off which caused a bright flash and sparking of the electrical wires. The live electrical wires landed onto the roadway. Rampa exited his vehicle and ran west into a wooded area. An extensive search was conducted involving multiple Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies, a Lake County Sheriff’s Apprehension K9, officers from the California Highway Patrol, Sonoma County Sheriff’s helicopter “Henry-1” and the REACH-6 helicopter, which is based in Lake County. Approximately four hours into the search a neighbor in the area saw the suspect on his property and dialed 911. Deputies responded to the area where Rampa was last seen and continued the search. At approximately 8:27 hrs, the sergeant originally involved in the chase, located and arrested Rampa who was hiding in the brush.
Rampa, who has had several prior driving under the influence arrest (DUI), was booked at the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility for evading a peace officer, felony (DUI) and felony hit and run. The California Highway Patrol is conducting the accident investigation.
At the time of this public information release, Pacific Gas and Electric reported 168 customers were affected by the power outage due to the collision. They reported electrical power had been restored to all but about 10 customers.
Lake County CA Sheriff's Department
1220 Martin St
Lakeport, CA 95453