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UPDATED: Man in jail after high-speed pursuit

CHP officer dragged for a moment while trying to arrest man

Posted: April 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

A Valencia man was in jail Monday after a high-speed pursuit Saturday, during which he allegedly dragged a California Highway Patrol officer with a rented truck in Newhall, according to CHP officials.

Dustin K. Leavitt, 26, of the 25200 block of Avenida Rondel, was arrested on suspicion of felony charges including evading arrest, embezzlement of a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance believed to be methamphetamine and resisting arrest while causing minor injuries to a peace officer, officials said Monday.

Leavitt was being held at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Monday on $300,000 bail, according to arrest records.
The officer who was dragged as he attempted to arrest Leavitt was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital, CHP Officer John Lutz said.

At about 2 p.m. Saturday, an officer attempted to stop Leavitt for speeding, who was driving a 2010 Ford F-150 northbound on Highway 14 at Newhall Road, according to a CHP statement.

Leavitt continued speeding as he exited the freeway at Golden Valley Road and drove through several Newhall streets to get away from officers.

During the pursuit, Leavitt drove onto a raised concrete curb, causing the rubber on the Ford’s front left tire to fly off the rim.

Leavitt continued driving northbound on Newhall Avenue but was forced to stop at Railroad Avenue for an oncoming train, Lutz said.

Officers bumped the back of the Ford with their cruisers to prevent Leavitt from escaping. Meanwhile, an officer smashed the Ford’s front right window and tried to arrest Leavitt.

But when the train’s last railcar passed by the truck, Leavitt allegedly tried to drive away, momentarily dragging the officer, who was hanging onto the truck, according to the statement.

Leavitt drove north on Railroad for a few blocks, but lost control of the Ford at Oak Ridge Drive, where he was arrested.


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