A driver led officers on a bizarre chase Thursday morning that began in Pismo Beach and went all the way to the edge of the Cal Poly campus, yet by in large, remained within the speed limit and in compliance with traffic laws.
Vincent Depass, 42, was stopping at stop signs while officers from multiple agencies were pursuing him. On multiple occasions though, Depass climbed on top of his black SUV while stopped at stop signs in order to “taunt” the officers behind him.
At about 8:52 a.m., a Pismo Beach officer was flagged down by a resident in the area of James Way and Highland Drive, a press release from the city’s police department states. The resident told the officer an older Chevrolet Tahoe was driving around the neighborhood erratically and was stopping in front of homes for a suspicious amount of time.
The officer located the vehicle on Capanna Lane near James Way and tried to contact the driver. Depass drove off, and the officer pursued him, marking the beginning of the chase.
Pismo Beach police say the officer pursued the suspect because of his suspicious nature, as well as the fact he was driving around an area that had recently been burglarized. The suspect was also sought for vehicle code violations and fleeing detention, according to the news release.
After Pismo Beach officers pursued Depass through the Avila Valley, CHP officers and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies took over the pursuit. Depass entered Highway 101 northbound at least once before entering San Luis Obispo.
CHP officers followed Depass as he drove around the San Luis Obispo airport, down Orcutt Road and across the city of SLO to near the Cal Poly campus. A CHP helicopter tracked Depass and filmed the pursuit, beginning at Tank Farm and Santa Fe roads.
Depass drove at a relatively slow speed and obeyed most traffic laws, with the exception of refusing to yield, according to the CHP. He stopped several times to taunt officers, the CHP said.
In one of the instances in which Depass was screaming out to officers while standing on his vehicle, the suspect’s vehicle was at the edge of the Cal Poly campus on Grand Avenue. The pursuit concluded shortly later with officers taking Depass into custody on Hathway Avenue near Kentucky Street.
Officers booked Depass into the SLO County Jail, where he currently remains with his bail set at $5,000. Depass is charged with evading a peace officer, resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer, according to the sheriff’s office website.