A 100-mph freeway pursuit Friday night ended with a crash in Novato, leg fractures for a California Highway Patrol officer and the confiscation of several garbage bags full of marijuana, police said.

The suspect and his two pit bulls remained at large. A third dog was taken by the Marin Humane Society.

The pursuit began in Sonoma County, where a CHP officer noticed an expired registration tab on a Chevrolet truck, said CHP Sgt. Marcus Bartholomew. When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, the suspect accelerated down southbound Highway 101 at speeds of 90 to 100 mph, Bartholomew said.

A damaged Chevrolet is dragged to a tow truck Friday night after it was abandoned by a suspect who crashed in Novato.
A damaged Chevrolet is dragged to a tow truck Friday night after it was abandoned by a suspect who crashed in Novato. (IJ staff photo)

CHP officers in Marin were notified and waited for the truck near the Redwood Sanitary Landfill north of Novato. The truck drove over spike strips that police left in the road, blowing out the left front tire, but the driver kept going toward Novato.

The driver took the exit to De Long Avenue and headed into downtown Novato. The truck went off the road, knocked down a streetlight pole and crashed at Diablo Avenue and First Street at the former Blockbuster video store. The suspect ran, and a CHP officer suffered a fractured leg while chasing the suspect over a fence, Bartholomew said. The pit bulls ran after the driver, who eluded a manhunt involving at least a dozen Novato and CHP officers and a CHP helicopter crew circling the downtown area.


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Police searched the vehicle and found several pounds of marijuana in garbage bags. The vehicle is registered to an Oakland resident, and the suspect was described as a white, about 35 years old and wearing a ponytail and beard. The car had not been reported stolen.

Anyone with information about the suspect can call the CHP at 924-1100 or Novato police at 897-1122.

The injured CHP officer was taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center for treatment.

Contact Gary Klien via email at gklien@marinij.com