JUAB COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A California man was charged on Monday, April 17, after he failed to stop for Utah Highway Patrol troopers who caught him speeding on Interstate 15 in Juab County.
Takahisa Watanabe, 33, was charged at the Fourth District Court in Nephi for failure to respond to officer’s signal to stop, a third-degree felony; speeding, an infraction; and failure to stay in one lane, an infraction.
A trooper reportedly heard Watanabe saying “I should have stopped.” while they were sorting out paperwork for his arrest.
According to the affidavit, on Thursday, April 13, troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol observed a vehicle driven by Watanabe traveling at the speed of 94 mph in an 80 mph zone on I-15 in Juab County. Troopers tried to stop the vehicle, but Watanabe continued to drive and increased the vehicle’s speed up to 104 mph.
“He drove erratically and swerved in and out of his lane of travel,” the charging document stated.
After pursuing the vehicle for about 14 miles, officers successfully spiked the tires of Watanabe’s car. Even then, Watanabe reportedly continued driving, exited the freeway and went around a patrol vehicle that was blocking the offramp.
According to the charging document, Watnabe’s vehicle was headed into Nephi when it stopped. Watanabe and the other passengers then got out of the vehicle. Authorities reportedly held them at gunpoint until more help arrived.