Ridgecrest Police arrests suspect following pursuit
James Ihle is in custody on charges of Felony Evading Police, Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Several Traffic Violations and Felony Child Endangerment. On 4/19/19 at around 1200 hours, Officers and Detectives from RPD were in an area of Ridgecrest looking for a wanted suspect from a previous case involving an assault with a deadly weapon. Photo Provided on Press Release
Officer Barragan and Officer Smythe were circulating the area when they saw a person matching the description of the wanted subject driving a white Toyota Corolla. When they turned around to confirm the identity of the driver, the driver attempted to flee from them.
After activating the overhead lights and sirens, the driver, later identified as James Ihle, failed to yield and drove dangerously through the city of Ridgecrest on residential and surface streets. During the pursuit, Ihle traveled at speeds over 80mph, ran several stop signs, a red light and even forced a police vehicle to swerve out of the way when he tried to drive head on with the patrol unit. After about 5.5 miles, the vehicle became disabled and Ihle parked the vehicle in the 2000 Blk of S. Inyo St. Ihle and his 17 year old passenger fled from the vehicle on foot and attempted to continue evading police.
After a perimeter was established both Ihle and the juvenile were apprehended. Ihle was not the original suspect Officers were looking for, however is currently on the Electronic Monitoring Program for Kern County Probation. Ihle later stated he believed he had a warrant for his arrest, which was his reason for evading Police. Ihle was booked into Central Receiving Facility in Bakersfield CA and is currently held with a NO BAIL felony probation hold along with 90k open charges bail. One of the most dangerous things for Police and the community is vehicle pursuits. Many factors come into play when dealing with these situations and thankfully no one was injured in the pursuit! Jed McLaughlin, Chief of Police Prepared by: Sgt. A. Tucker