Tahoe man arrested following car chase
August 30, 2004
A car chase with speeds up to 80 mph along Highway 50 through California and Nevada ended in the arrest of a 46-year-old South Lake Tahoe man.
Christopher Bellacosa was detained by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies after the red 1974 Chevy truck he was driving spun out on Spooner Summit, two miles west of a spike strip which was placed by authorities to deflate the truck’s tires.
He was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving, a second drunken driving offense and driving with a suspended license, Douglas County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said.
Bellacosa was spotted driving without headlights Sunday around 9:45 p.m. by an El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy near 5th Street at the “Y,” authorities said.
Deputies chased Bellacosa along Highway 50 toward Stateline as the South Lake Tahoe Police Department helped clear the roadway.
Mezzetta said that during the chase Bellacosa slowed at intersections, didn’t charge oncoming vehicles and was cautious at construction zones.
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Once the pursuit crossed into Nevada, waiting Douglas County deputies became the primary law enforcement agency behind Bellacosa. Spike strips, used to slowly deflate a vehicle’s tires, were placed at the concrete wall break halfway down the Carson City side of Spooner Summit, Mezzetta said.
Two miles before the spike strip was placed Bellacosa lost control of the truck at a curve, spinning the truck clockwise, authorities said. The truck hit the concrete wall and stopped facing west in the eastbound lanes.
Bellacosa was booked into Douglas County Jail without bail since his parole was revoked.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Lt. Les Lovell commended South Lake Tahoe police officers for maintaining the public’s safety during the chase.
“The police department did a great job in ensuring public safety by blocking major thoroughfares on Highway 50 to minimize the amount of traffic on the roadway,” he said.
Authorities said Bellacosa has a criminal history spanning from Sacramento to Sparks which includes drunken driving and carrying a concealed weapon.
– E-mail William Ferchland at email@example.com.