RIVERSIDE – An unlicensed motorcyclist who fled from Riverside police, leading officers on a roughly 50-mile chase before surrendering, pleaded guilty today to felony reckless driving and was immediately sentenced to six months in jail.
Anthony Fred Chavez, 22, of Riverside, was arrested Jan. 20 following a pursuit that began on the west side of the city and ended outside the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula.
During a status hearing before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan, Chavez dropped his not guilty plea and acknowledged responsibility for his acts. In addition to the felony count, Chavez pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving on a revoked license.
Dugan ordered him to serve 180 days in county jail and three years probation. She also mandated that he complete a counseling program for alcoholics.
According to police, the pursuit began around 4:45 p.m. on Central Avenue when a Riverside patrol unit attempted to stop Chavez, riding a blue Yamaha, for several alleged infractions.
The motorcyclist fled at speeds reaching 115 mph, weaving in and out of traffic in an attempt to get away, officers said.
Ten minutes into the chase, Chavez drove onto the westbound Riverside (91) Freeway, where California Highway Patrol officers joined the pursuit.
The defendant got off the freeway at Tyler Street, went north to Magnolia Avenue, then cut back west, rejoining the freeway at McKinley Street before heading south on Interstate 15, according to police.
Riverside patrol units backed out of the pursuit, leaving CHP units and a Riverside police helicopter crew to follow the fleeing man south into Temecula, where he exited onto city streets and headed toward the Pechanga casino. He surrendered in the parking lot of the business around 5:20 p.m.
No one was injured.