Man steals car, slams it into tree amid SLO County chase


A man led CHP officers on a multi-highway car chase in San Luis Obispo County on Tuesday that ended with the suspect slamming the vehicle into a tree east of Atascadero.

At about 3 p.m., a CHP officer tried to stop a white 2014 Chevrolet Camaro on the Cuesta Grade. Jonah Manuel Fernandes, 25, fled in the vehicle, along with a female passenger.

CHP officers lost track of the Camaro, but then located it again about 30 minutes later on northbound Highway 41 near Homestead Road.

The pursuit then morphed into a foot chase involving a helicopter and a few law enforcement agencies. But officers eventually caught and arrested the man on charges of felony auto theft, receiving stolen property and reckless driving.

Both Fernandes and his passenger Brittany Hughartaguilar suffered minor injuries in the car crash. Hughartaguilar was also taken into custody. 

Fernandes currently remains in the SLO County Jail with his bail set at $20,000.