GOLETA — One man’s alcohol-clouded logic fueled a dangerous vehicle pursuit through neighborhood streets Monday.
Todd Alan Bushey had a sweet and sporty Camaro waiting for him as he walked across the shopping center parking lot in Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara. But he hadn’t only been doing his grocery shopping on this particular afternoon; he’d been running a stiff bar tab in a nearby Fairview Center eatery. As he crossed the shopping center parking lot, he was walking such a circuitous route to his parked car that by the time he was behind the wheel of the Camaro, several passersby had dialed 911 to report a possibly inebriated man at the vehicle’s controls.
By the time Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department units responded to the scene, Bushey, 52, was well on his way down the road. The description of the Camaro was broadcast to all units within the area just as a deputy on routine patrol a mile away spotted the vehicle blithely running a marked and posted intersection stop.
“The deputy simply reacted and hit his lights,” said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Drew Sugars, intending to perform a routine traffic stop.
But Bushey, perhaps as a result of his level of intoxication, accelerated the Camaro through neighborhood streets, fleeing from the lights and sirens behind him at high rates of speed. Three miles and three minutes later, with a number of sheriff’s units in various angles of pursuit, the Camaro plowed into a parked car on a main thoroughfare, shoved the impacted car some 50 feet and finally came to a rest.
“It was an obvious lack of control accident,” said Sugars, adding “this is a wide road and no sober driver would have trouble navigating these lanes.”
Bushey was removed by ambulance to nearby Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and was released with “walking injuries” to be booked on felony charges of evading arrest, driving under the influence, and driving with a suspended license. Total tab: $75,000 bail.