A police helicopter tracked a speeding motorcyclist from North County all the way to Pacific Beach after the rider refused to pull over for California Highway Patrol officers in Oceanside.
The man was arrested more than 30 miles later after he pulled into a convenience store parking lot Tuesday afternoon, Fen. 27.
The 27-year-old Encinitas man was apparently unaware that the helicopter was still observing him when he stopped at the corner of Garnet Avenue and Jewell Street shortly after 3:10 p.m., said CHP Officer Mark Latulippe.
"The incident is an example of the high level of cooperation between local law enforcement agencies," Latulippe said in a statement. "Additionally, the patience and tactics used prioritized the safety of the public, minimized danger, and eventually resulted in the arrest of a dangerous reckless driver."
A CHP officer had spotted the man on the Yamaha sport motorcycle speeding on eastbound state Route 78 west of College Boulevard in Oceanside shortly before 2:30 p.m.
The officer tried to pull the motorcyclist over but the rider fled. In the ensuing chase, the rider reached speeds of up to 120 mph.
Due to the erratic driving and high traffic volume in the area, the officer stopped chasing the man, Latulippe said. Even after officers dropped their pursuit, the rider continued to drive unsafely, speeding and running red lights and nearly hitting several vehicles, Latulippe said.
The San Diego police helicopter, which had been requested to assist in the initial pursuit, was still watching the rider when he stopped at a business about 40 minutes after the chase began.
Officers on the chopper were able to direct CHP and San Diego police to the location, where they arrested the man.
--Karen Kucher is a writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune