On Friday, September 22, 2023, just before 11 a.m., the Chico Police Dispatch Center began receiving numerous calls regarding a reckless driver in the downtown area.
Multiple patrol officers arrived in the area and quickly located the suspect vehicle. An officer briefly pursued the vehicle but terminated the pursuit due to the extreme risk to the public due to the severity of the reckless driving.
The driver, later identified as Lorayna Gonsalves, continued to drive recklessly in the downtown area, striking at least three vehicles and nearly hitting several pedestrians.
Spike strips were deployed in an attempt to disable the vehicle. Spike Strips are a device used by the police which, when driven over, puncture and deflate the vehicle tires, significantly disabling the vehicle’s ability to drive at high speeds.
At one point, Gonsalves swerved her vehicle toward an officer on foot who was attempting to deploy Spike Strips. The officer was able to jump out of the way of the vehicle and was not injured. Based on Gonsalves’s reckless driving creating a likelihood of causing an injury or death to an innocent civilian or officer, an officer deliberately rammed Gonsalves’ vehicle, disabling it from moving further. She was briefly uncooperative with exiting the vehicle but eventually surrendered to officers.
Neither Gonsalves nor any civilians were injured in this incident. One officer sustained a minor injury, but medical attention was not required.
Gonsalves was taken into custody and arrested for:
- 245(d)(1) PC: Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer
- 2800.2(a) CVC: Evading the police while driving with a willful or wanton disregard for safety
- 20002(a) CVC X3: Hit and Run
- 148(a)(1) PC; Resist or Obstruct an Officer
Location: Downtown Chico
Suspect: Lorayna Gonsalves (38)
Victim: State of California, multiple other victims withheld
Supervisor: Sgt. C. Uebelhardt
Lieutenant: Lt. T. Tupper