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CHPD: vehicle pursuit concludes after spike strips deployed on Greenback

police lights, CH Sentinel
Police lights, stock photo. // CH Sentinel

Police said a 26-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night after allegedly leading officers on a slower-than-usual eight-mile pursuit through Citrus Heights that eventually ended on Greenback Lane after spike strips were used to stop the vehicle.

Special Operations Lt. Jason Russo said the incident began shortly after 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 when police received a call about a man with “an open, folded knife,” who was also suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The man allegedly had been caught shoplifting at an electronics retail store on the 6000 block of Birdcage Avenue, near Greenback Lane, but had reportedly given back the property.

Lt. Russo said responding officers located the suspect’s vehicle as it was leaving the scene and attempted to stop the vehicle on Sunrise Boulevard. A pursuit was initiated, leading officers around Citrus Heights and briefly into parts of Sacramento County.

The lieutenant said the suspect, later identified as Benjamin Lawrence Cederlind, “was observed swerving in the roadway” and “failed to stop at stop signs” during the eight-mile pursuit. Assistance was requested from both the Folsom Police Department and the California Highway Patrol, who provided at least one air unit.

Russo said Folsom police eventually brought the pursuit to an end by deploying spike strips on Greenback Lane, near Mount Vernon Memorial. After coming to a halt with two flat tires, the suspect reportedly “refused to comply with officers” and was taken into custody.

While prior police pursuits in the city have exceeded 100 miles per hour, Lt. Russo said Tuesday’s eight-mile pursuit lasted about 15 minutes, which equates to an average speed of just over 30 miles per hour. Publicly accessible police radio communication during the pursuit indicate the suspect was often traveling below the speed limit, at speeds of 30 to 45 miles per hour, with the vehicle even stopping behind traffic at a red light.

Cederlind was later found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was charged with “evading a peace officer, DUI with drugs, and obstruction of a public officer,” the lieutenant said. The 26-year-old was released the following day, according to online inmate records for the Sacramento County Main Jail.

Court records indicate Cederlind plead guilty in two prior cases in 2012 and 2013, both of which involved petty theft. He was sentenced to three years probation in both cases.

Asked whether Cederlind was charged with endangering the public, as is typical during pursuits, Lt. Russo said the the suspect’s “maneuvers” on Tuesday night did not appear to rise to felony endangerment charges. He said the suspect was not alleged to have run any red lights during the pursuit and no injuries or damage was reported, other than to Cederlind and his vehicle.

*Note: Court records also indicate an alternate spelling of Cederlind’s name as “Benjamin Lawernce Cedarlind.”

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