Military Vet Crashes Car Head-On Into CHP Vehicle

A tense situation in Siskiyou County reached a fever pitch Friday and looked like it would only get worse until a sheriff’s deputy was able to reach out to the suspect with compassion and bring the ordeal to an end without injury. At around 12:30PM in the afternoon the Yreka Area CHP was told of a car on Northbound Interstate 5 being driven recklessly and at high speed. They also learned the driver may be a military veteran experiencing a mental health crisis. The car was then spotted by an officer north of the North Yreka Exit, and as he caught up, the car moved to the slow lane, passing other cars and speeding up to 130 miles an hour. After passing the Copco Road Overpass, the driver made a u-turn, remaining on the northbound side on the shoulder and headed back south. As the officer approached, he saw that the car was coming back into the lanes the wrong way, so he positioned his cruiser to block the car from driving into oncoming freeway traffic. The driver rammed the CHP vehicle head-on, apparently intentionally. He tried to get out of the car and flee but the impact had jammed his doors shut and he was trapped. The CHP vehicle caught fire but fortunately a witness had a fire extinguisher and he quickly doused the flames. The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Jesse Michael Devivo of Carlsbad, remained in his car for about 15 minutes, occasionally brandishing a sword when officers tried to approach. Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Deputy R. Stewart told Devivo that he also was a military veteran and that he understood his ordeal. After speaking with him for a few minutes he convinced Devivo to climb out the car window and surrender. He was taken to a hospital to be cleared and then booked into jail for assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and reckless evading.

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