By Raiza Giorgi

As Santa Barbara California Highway Patrol officers were responding to a vehicle theft in the Goleta area on Friday afternoon, when the suspect took off in the vehicle identified as a beige Honda on Highway 101 northbound and ended up in the Buellton area. The suspect, Daniel Emilio Ruiz Medina, 26, of Santa Maria left the Honda in the center divider and ran into a residence on Jonata Park Road. 

Rusty Dusty Fusty Phil the cat.
Photo contributed

The suspect then allegedly stole a white flatbed Chevrolet truck in which the keys were in the ignition. Medina then proceeded and ran over the truck owners cat, which perished, and went through their fencing to re-enter Highway 101 northbound, according to the CHP report. 

Medina hit speeds upwards of 100 miles per hour, where CHP officers backed off and the helicopter pursued. CHP officers set up a spike strip at Cat Canyon in Los Alamos, but Medina drove in the dirt center median and continued into the southbound lanes traveling the wrong direction. Medina crossed over to the northbound lanes again, almost hitting several vehicles in front of him.

Medina then exited Union Valley Parkway in Orcutt and turned on Skyway Drive and again onto Industrial Parkway where he exited the truck and fled on foot. Medina entered the Westside Building Materials building where officers followed and located the suspect, who put on a reflective vest and head set to appear to be an employee. He was taken into custody and booking into Santa Barbara County Jail on felony charges. Medina is currently on probation in Santa Barbara County, according to CHP officials. 

More information will be provided later.