California police chase ends with suspect driving over cliff, into ocean

The suspect, accused of carjacking, was taken into custody after leading police on a 100-mph pursuit, authorities said.
Image: Santa Cruz Police
Santa Cruz police and rescue personnel stand looking over a cliff near Stockton Avenue. The suspect was safely taken into custody after climbing out of the stolen vehicle, as he stumbled up the rocky shoreline.Santa Cruz Police

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By Dennis Romero

A driver who led authorities on a 100-mph chase drove off a cliff and into the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday in Santa Cruz, California, law enforcement officials said.

The chase started about 3:30 p.m. near Davenport, a town about 11 miles north of Santa Cruz, when sheriff's deputies responding to a report of a man firing a handgun in the air came across a suspect who had just carjacked someone, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's office said in a statement.

Deputies gave chase as the motorist headed south toward Santa Cruz at speeds of more than 100 mph, the office said. Deputies called off the pursuit as they neared the city over safety concerns for bystanders, sheriff's officials said.

The suspect kept driving and ended up in the Pacific Ocean less than a mile west of the city's famed beach Steamer Lane, the office said.

He "ended up driving over the cliff, into the surf," the Santa Cruz Police Department said in its own statement.

The department, whose officers responded to the beach, said the man got out of the vehicle and ended up on dry land.

"The suspect was safely taken into custody after climbing out of the stolen vehicle, as he stumbled up the rocky shoreline," the department said.

The suspect's name was not released. No injuries were reported.