Monday, a Mammoth man accused of stealing cars and taking off his clothes at a local bar led law enforcement on a wild and dangerous car chase down 395.
Officers say that 26 year old Mammoth resident Nathan Baird was laughing and dancing on the roof of the stolen vehicle before a TASER allowed officers to make the arrest.
Mammoth Police report that on Sunday at ten in the morning they responded to calls regarding a naked man at the Tusk bar in the Main Lodge. Police say that reports indicated that Baird came into the bar, took off his clothes, laid down on a couch in front of a fire and went to sleep.
Baird was booked, cited, and released, police say.
Just before 7:00 Monday morning Police say they took a report of a stolen green Ford Expedition on Lupin Street. A Toyota 4-Runner, idling at Schats, was stolen a few minutes later, according to officers. Police say that the suspect found the 4-Runner to be low on gas so he walked back to the stolen Expedition and drove out of town.
CHP Officer O’Sullivan reports that the police issued a be on the look out alert for a green Ford expedition, which he then spotted driving south bound at about 25 mph in the north bound lane of 395 near the Green Church.
O’Sullivan reports that about five or six northbound vehicles hit the brakes and pulled off the highway to get out of the way before he was able to get in front of the Expedition at the Mt. Morrison Road and block off traffic.
Facing an officer with his gun drawn and patrol vehicle blocking the road, the suspect laughed, waved and drove around, O’Sullivan explained. The suspect pulled onto the proper side of the highway at Crowley and the low speed chase continued toward Toms Place where Highway Patrol officers from Bishop had placed spike strips on the highway. O’Sullivan explained that two of the suspects tires blew out, but he continued toward Toms Place.
A Highway Patrol Officer used what is known as a PIT maneuver. Officers hook their bumper on the rear of a suspect vehicle to cause the suspect vehicle to spin out. This worked, O’Sullivan explained; but now facing northbound, the suspect rammed the officer head on at about 15 to 20 mph. The expedition backed up and headed southbound again, when an officer used his patrol car to spin the suspect out a second time while another officer pushed the expedition into the snow on the side of the road.
O’Sullivan reports that with CHP guns drawn, the suspect climbed onto the roof of the vehicle where he proceeded to laugh and dance. Officers shot the suspect with a less lethal shotgun round, (a bean bag) four times and the suspect continued to laugh, according to O’Sullivan. The officer explained that Mono Sheriff Officers then arrived with a TASER and the suspect was taken into custody.
O’Sullivan reports that the suspect, Nathan Baird, was arrested for 2 counts of auto theft, driving on the wrong side of the road, felony evading a police officer, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon, and driving under the influence of drugs. At this time officers are waiting for tests to show which drugs may have led to the erratic behavior, according to Officer O’Sullivan.