Mammoth Lakes Police led on wild 100+ mph high-speed chase
On 06-07-2021 at 3:35pm, MLPD Officers were dispatched to Shady Rest Park in response to a domestic violence incident. The female victim reported that her ex-boyfriend had pulled a knife on her, slashed her vehicle’s tires, and broke windows on her vehicle.
As the first two Officers arrived in the area, dispatch received information from the victim that the suspect was leaving the area in a white van with South Dakota license plates. At the same time, the van drove past the two Officers toward Main Street at a high rate of speed. Both Officers turned around and activated their emergency lights and siren attempting to get the van to stop.
A Sergeant was now driving toward the park along Sawmill Cutoff Road, at which time, he activated his emergency lights and blocked the lanes of travel in an attempt to stop the fleeing van. Upon reaching the Sergeant’s location, the van initially slowed and briefly came to a stop. The driver then reversed the van, drove around the police vehicle into the oncoming lane, and proceeded to flee the scene. Based on the severity of the nature of the call involving domestic violence and a weapon, Officers immediately initiated a vehicle pursuit.
The suspect ran the posted stop sign at the intersection of Sawmill Cutoff Road and Main Street causing Main Street traffic to slam on their brakes to avoid a collision. He then proceeded eastbound on Highway 203, reaching speeds up to 95 MPH. He also passed multiple vehicles at the high rate of speed on the right shoulder of the road.
Upon reaching the overpass, he entered southbound Highway 395. The suspect continued his erratic driving at speeds in excess of 100 MPH, including passing vehicles on the right shoulder of the road. Upon reaching Benton Crossing Road, the suspect turned left, ran the center median stop sign in front of northbound Highway 395 traffic, and proceeded east. He reached speeds in excess of 95 MPH.
Upon reaching Brown’s Owens River Campground, the suspect turned left onto an unmarked dirt road where he immediately lost control of his vehicle and became stuck in the soft dirt of the right shoulder. The suspect then exited his vehicle and fled on foot through the desert. Officers immediately gave chase and caught the suspect after approximately 100 yards. He was handcuffed and taken into custody at that time.
The suspect was then escorted to a police vehicle and placed in the rear prisoner area with his seat belt on. The suspect was identified as Saylor Austin Reese of South Dakota.
A short while later, the Sergeant was tending to Reese by providing him with drinking water and explaining the arrest process to him at the right rear open door. The Sergeant was standing in the door approximately two feet from Reese. As the Sergeant went to apply the seat belt again to prepare for transport, Reese aggressively lunged toward the Sergeant in an attempt to escape custody. The Sergeant in turn wrestled Reese to the ground and was immediately assisted by an on-scene California Highway Patrol Officer. While on the ground, Reese picked up a large rock as a weapon. Officers were able to remove the rock from his hand and restrain him until other Officers arrived on scene. Reese was then transported to Mammoth Hospital for booking clearance.
Reese was later transported to the Mono County Jail for booking and was booked on the following charges: 245 PC- Assault with a deadly weapon, 2800.2 VC- Felony evading, 69 PC- Felony resisting Officers, 594 PC- Felony vandalism, 836.6(a) PC- Attempted escape, 243(e)(1) PC- Misdemeanor domestic violence, 236 PC- False imprisonment, 417 PC- Brandishing a knife, 148(a)(1) PC- Misdemeanor resisting Officers.
An Emergency Protective Order was requested and granted by a judge to protect the victim from further domestic violence. Due to the serious nature of the above crimes, as well as a concern Reese may attempt to locate the victim and/or flee the area, a bail enhancement was requested and subsequently granted by the judge. Reese is currently being held in the Mono County Jail on $500,000.00 bail.