Helicopter tracks down motorcyclist who outran CHP, cops say

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A speeding motorcyclist who got away from officers chasing him on an Oceanside highway was unable to shake a San Diego police helicopter that tracked him to Pacific Beach, where he was taken into custody, authorities said Wednesday.

The chase began a little before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on eastbound state Route 78 just west of College Boulevard in Oceanside, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Latulippe said. That’s where a CHP officer attempted to make a traffic stop on a speeding Yamaha sport motorcycle, but the rider refused to pull over, fleeing at speeds reaching more than 120 mph.

“Due to the erratic driving and high traffic volume in the area, the CHP officer discontinued the pursuit,” Latulippe said.

But after officers on the ground dropped the pursuit, a San Diego Police Department helicopter began tracking the suspect, who allegedly continued speeding and driving recklessly on his way to San Diego, even after the CHP officer stopped chasing him, Latulippe said.

“The helicopter was able to maintain visual contact with the motorcycle and track its location as it continued to drive unsafely, speeding, running red lights and numerous near collisions,” Latulippe said.

Apparently unaware that he was being tracked from the sky, the motorcyclist stopped at a Pacific Beach convenience store, where CHP and SDPD officers converged to arrest him, Latulippe said. He was identified as 27-year- old Encinitas resident Matthew Giordano.

Jail records showed Giordano was no longer in custody this morning, likely having bailed out, and the CHP did not say what charges he could face. But authorities said the arrest highlighted the positive results of law enforcement agencies working together.

“The patience and tactics used prioritized the safety of the public, minimized danger, and eventually resulted in the arrest of a dangerous reckless driver,” Latulippe said.

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