A woman hijacked a California Highway Patrol car in Sunol at 3:40 Monday afternoon, leading officers on a high speed chase on northbound Interstate 680 until she flipped the patrol car over in an embankment near the Stoneridge Drive exit, according to authorities.
The woman, identified as 19-year-old Itse Murillo Orozco of San Jose, had been the passenger in a 1995 Acura Integra traveling on the freeway that a highway patrol car signaled to pull over in Fremont. Instead of pulling over, the male driver, identified as 26-year-old Miguel Velasquez also of San Jose, continued driving at about 70 to 80 mph and then suddenly exited off the Calaveras Road exit in Sunol, according to CHP spokesman Steve Creel.
Officers then used a maneuver with the patrol car to stop the vehicle, which worked, but then both the driver and the passenger fled the scene. Creel said officers tasered Orozco and put her in handcuffs and sat her in the backseat of the patrol car.
Meanwhile, officers pursued the Velasquez on foot. During that time, the Orozco somehow wiggled her arms in front of her, hopped into the driver's seat of the patrol car and sped off, hightailing it on I-680 north into Pleasanton, Creel said.
Officers followed the hijacked patrol car north until Orozco swung across all lanes in an attempt to exit at Stoneridge Drive and flipped the car into a ditch just before the off-ramp. She got out of the car and started running, but a deputy was able to apprehend her after tasering her. Orozco and Velasquez were taken to ValleyCare Medical Center for evaluation, released, and taken to Santa Rita Jail.
Creel said they were booked for stolen vehicles, as the Acura was also stolen, felony pursuit and resisting arrest. Velasquez was also charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance, DUI and possession of burglary tools.
The incident, which snarled traffic in both directions of I-680, was extremely unusual, according to Creel.
"What was unique was the aggressiveness displayed by both, so we're looking into their backgrounds to see if they have any prior records," Creel said.
No other cars were involved in the incident and authorities are investigating how the woman was able to escape.