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MAXWELL, Calif. -- An assault on a California Highway Patrol officer Wednesday prompted a high-speed chase south on Interstate 5 that ended with the arrest of a man who also rammed a CHP cruiser with his motorcycle, then crashed.
The suspect was identified as Carroll Leroy Russell, 50, of Oakley.
According to the CHP, Russell had been panhandling and creating a disturbance at the northbound I-5 rest area near Maxwell on Tuesday, and returned Wednesday with a female.
A Caltrans employee called CHP, which sent an officer to investigate reports Russell was causing a disturbance.
Officer Kevin Eppley arrived about 11 a.m. and met with Russell, who gave the officer a false name.
A registration check on the motorcycle came back to Russell, who was found to have an outstanding $300,000 warrant from Contra Costa County for failure to appear in court on three DUI charges.
Russell resisted when Eppley tried to take him into custody.
They struggled in the rest stop parking lot and both went down to the ground.
Russell managed to get on his motorcycle and may have attempted to run Eppley over before speeding away southbound in the northbound lanes of I-5.
The officer suffered a minor laceration to his hand, but was able to pursue Russell, who at first rode north in the southbound lane of I-5, reportedly attempting to ram a second patrol car that had joined the chase.
As the woman with Russell was questioned, several officers from the CHP, Williams police and Colusa County Sheriff's Office chased Russell south on I-5 at speeds estimated up to 130 mph. He was observed passing vehicles on the shoulder and in the center divider.
Russell took the County Road 8 exit from I-5 near Dunnigan. He reportedly slowed on the offramp and waved his arm as if to signify he was stopping, but darted over County Road 8 to an onramp.
A CHP cruiser driven by officer Bob Kays tried to cut Russell off and was intentionally rammed.
Kays wasn't hurt, but Russell then rode the bike for several hundred yards along a culvert paralleling the highway. He eventually hit a large ditch, which caused the motorcycle to flip, ejecting Russell, who wasn't wearing a helmet.
Despite the crash, Russell continued to flee from officers on foot. He was quickly surrounded, but still tried to fight.
He was flown by helicopter to a Sacramento area hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.
He'll be booked into the Colusa County Jail following his release.
In addition to the existing DUI charges, Russell faces new allegations of felony evading, reckless endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon and driving on a suspended license.
The woman with Russell at the rest stop, an Oroville resident, was questioned and released.
The northbound rest stop was closed for more than an hour and opened at 12:30 p.m.
Landreth said he didn't know if Eppley's injuries would place him on modified duty. He said the officer spent most of Wednesday at a Sacramento hospital interviewing the suspect.
Diane Hankins, a rest area supervisor for a Caltrans contractor, said she remembered the couple begging for money on Tuesday.
She said most people who use the rest stop are very nice. "But we do get some odd ones," she said.