Suspect leads deputies on wild chase, assaults K-9, tries to steal patrol unit

Suspect vehicle caught fire in farm field

NEW CUYAMA, Calif. - A wild pursuit leads to an arrest in New Cuyama.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, at 11:00 p.m. Thursday deputies responded to a report of a wrong-way driver on Highway 166 near New Cuyama. Deputies tried to stop the driver, who then led authorities on a chase on Highway 166 and then into a farm field near the 1800 block of the highway.

The terrain caused the suspect vehicle to break down several times as the driver, 20-year-old Louis Lovallo of Torrance then fled on foot. Lovallo then attempted to steal a nearby patrol unit with force and damaged the vehicle in the process. A perimeter was established with assistance from Kern County Sheriff's Office and California High Patrol until Lovallo was found hiding nearby.

He violently resisted arrest and assaulted the police dog but was eventually subdued by deputies and arrested. Two sheriff’s deputies suffered minor injuries during the struggle, deputies said.

Due to mechanical issues and Lovallo's actions while driving in the brush, his vehicle caught fire and later became fully engulfed. Personnel from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded and quickly put out the flames, deputies said.

Lovallo was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail for DUI (Drugs), Felony Evading a Peace Officer, Resisting Arrest with Force, Attempted Carjacking, Attempted Vehicle Theft, Vandalism, Trespassing, Assaulting a Police Dog and Driving Without A License. His bail is set at $75,000.

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