Simi Valley cemetery marred after suspect flees police at 90 mph

A 39-year-old Simi Valley man was arrested and booked into jail Saturday after fleeing police at speeds exceeding 90 mph in an incident that marred a local cemetery.

The incident reportedly began when a trespasser was reported to be acting erratically and refusing to leave a gated community at Long Canyon Road and Canyon View Drive shortly before 7:30 a.m. on the southern edge of the city. Simi Valley police said they attempted to stop the suspect but that he sped on Long Canyon Road in his SUV before officers lost sight of the vehicle in the area of First Street and Fitzgerald Road.

About 10 minutes later, a caller telephoned police to report that a male subject driving an SUV had rammed the gate of the nearby Assumption Catholic Cemetery. The individual drove into the middle of the property, parked his vehicle on top of grave sites, left the vehicle and sat near one of the grave sites, the caller said.

The suspect told police he was looking for his brother at both locations, although the reason was unclear and he did not appear to be coherent, said Sgt. Richard Morton, who responded to the call.

The suspect initially refused to obey commands from officers but was later taken into custody without incident, police said. He seemed to be having a mental health episode, Morton said.

The suspect remained in jail Sunday in lieu of $15,000 bail. He was booked on charges of felony vandalism and misdemeanor charges of evading and delaying police as well as operating a motor vehicle without a functioning ignition interlock device required under a previous conviction for driving under the influence. He was due to appear in court Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Simi Valley cemetery marred after suspect flees police at 90 mph

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