Motorcyclist suspected in high-speed chase arrested
California Highway Patrol officers arrested the motorcyclist allegedly involved in a high-speed pursuit Saturday night that resulted in Officer James Giraudo sustaining moderate injuries.
David Benalt, 21, of Reno was interviewed and booked by CHP investigators Tuesday evening. Benalt was being held in custody at the Placer County Jail in Auburn with bail set at $75,000.
Benalt faces felony charges of evading a police officer and causing injuries.
CHP Officer Steve Skeen said the motorcycle’s license plates, registration and a fingerprint lifted from the vehicle, among other clues, led investigators to Benalt.
Giraudo, who sustained moderate injuries in Saturday’s pursuit, has been released from Renown Medical Center in Reno and is recovering from his injuries.
Investigators are in the process of creating a history of where Benalt went after he allegedly abandoned his motorcycle at the golf course in Squaw Valley, Skeen said. Benalt’s motivation for allegedly evading police officers is yet to be determined as well.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Giraudo began pursuing an unidentified motorcyclist traveling northbound on Highway 89 south, according to a CHP release. Skeen said the pursuit began at the intersection of Highway 267 and Interstate 80 and wrapped through Kings Beach and then Tahoe City toward Squaw Valley.
While attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Squaw Valley Road in pursuit of the driver, Giraudo lost control of his patrol vehicle and struck a light pole. The vehicle rotated backward and ended up in a ditch on the northwest corner of the intersection.
Skeen said three other units were en route at the time of the collision. A helicopter was involved in the search of the rider after the collision but was not involved in the pursuit.