Colo. River Sheriff's pursue, make arrest on I-10: Suspect drove into dirt near Mesa Verde off-ramp

Jesus Alberto Tapia

In addition to Blythe station U.S. Border Patrol and the Blythe Police Department (BPD), the Colorado River Station – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department also had a reported high-speed pursuit in the Palo Verde Valley this past week.

“On Saturday, April 3, 2021, at approximately 3:47 (a.m.), deputies assigned to the Colorado River Sheriff’s Station initiated a vehicle pursuit on a suspected impaired driver. The driver, later identified as Jesus Alberto Tapia (37-year-old of Glendale, [Ariz.]) fled from law enforcement and drove in a reckless manner at excessive speeds, weaving in and out of traffic, and nearly colliding with another vehicle,” stated the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. “Tapia exited at an off-ramp from the interstate, failed to make the curve on the off-ramp, drove into the dirt, and proceeded to get his vehicle stuck.”

According to jail information, Tapia was arrested at 4 a.m. near Mesa Dr. and Interstate 10.

“Tapia exited the vehicle and attempted to walk away but was immediately apprehended,” stated the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. “Further investigation revealed a loaded handgun and suspected narcotics located in the vehicle. Tapia was arrested and booked into the Blythe Jail for felony evading, possession of narcotics while armed, possession of narcotics for sale, transportation of narcotics for sale, and driving under the influence. The investigation is currently on-going. Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact Deputy Phipps at the Colorado River Sheriff’s Station by calling (760) 921-7900.”

Tapia currently has a court hearing scheduled for the morning of April 7.

An arraignment in Riverside County Superior Court is expected to see Tapia plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest to listed alleged felony violations of Health & Safety (H&S) Code section 11370.1(a), possession of a controlled substance with a firearm; H&S Code section 11378(a), possession of a narcotic/not a controlled substance; H&S Code section 11379(a), transporting/distribution of controlled substance; and Vehicle Code (VC) section 2800.2(a), evading a peace officer/reckless driving.

As of this publication’s April 5 deadline, Tapia remains in custody with bail listed at $100,000.

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