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A Chico man who police say rammed his pickup into a motorist’s vehicle on a local highway before leading cops on a chase through the city reportedly said he was trying to thwart his girlfriend’s kidnapping.
However, Chico cops say the vehicle Nathanial Lowe allegedly struck with his Chevrolet pickup Monday afternoon had nothing to do with an alleged abduction.
Lowe, 43, faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, felony reckless evading and resisting arrest in the bizarre Monday afternoon incident, Chico police said in a news release.
The unnamed driver was not seriously hurt.
Officers were sent to the Chico Mall off East 20th Street about 1:19 p.m. Monday. A caller said he was approached by a man, later identified as Lowe, who told him someone driving a stolen white Toyota abducted his girlfriend. Lowe then drove away, police said.
Police were called 20 minutes later to a wreck at Highway 32 and Bruce Road. The woman behind the wheel of the wrecked car told officers a man in a Chevy truck rammed her car and claimed she had kidnapped his girlfriend before he drove off.
Lowe didn’t get too far before police spotted his truck at Highway 32 and Forest Avenue. Police tried to stop Lowe and the chase was on – a six-mile pursuit along Chico streets that led to the lockdown of several local schools and ended with officers stopping the truck at an auto mall south of Chico Mall.
Police explained officers’ decision to continue to pursue Lowe through Chico streets in the middle of the day.
“Vehicle pursuits are inherently dangerous, and we continuously monitor whether pursuing a vehicle outweighs the safety of the public,” Chico police said in a statement. “In this case, officers and supervisors determined it was appropriate to continue the pursuit.”
Lowe was arrested without incident and was taken briefly to Chico’s Enloe Memorial Hospital, police said.
But Lowe wasn’t done. Police say he tried to escape the hospital before he was booked into Butte County Jail.