Evil Knievel rides again
Patrons taking a breather from a crowded honky-tonk concert at Duffy’s Tavern got another show when a man riding an off-road motorcycle led police on a chase through downtown Chico shortly after 11 p.m. last Thursday, June 20.
Witnesses said the man—police later identified him as 22-year-old James Verle—was riding the loud motorbike the wrong way on Broadway and recklessly through the Downtown Plaza Park when a Chico PD cruiser spotted him and gave pursuit, speeding the wrong way down Fourth Street toward Broadway and chasing the man back onto Main.
Crowds of late-night bar patrons along Main Street cheered Verle as he sped from the police, doing acrobatic stunts on the motorcycle, from “wheelies” to standing on the seat and raising both fists in the air à la Rocky.
“Unreal,” said one local tattoo artist who witnessed the chase on the street. “The cops are going to beat the crap out of that guy when they catch him.”
But Verle managed to evade the police, leading them through parts of the Chico State University and Chico High School campuses and a residential area north of West Sacramento.
Chico police terminated the pursuit after deciding it was too dangerous. Later that night an anonymous caller tipped them off that the man was in a residence near the intersection of West Sacramento and Warner, and that he had “at least one firearm in possession.”
He was apprehended without incident and charged with evasion and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Crack! Chiropractors fingered in insurance fraud scheme
Two Chico chiropractors, Terry Gibson and Linda Powers, got an early wake-up call on June 19—in the form of insurance fraud investigators serving them with search warrants.
Investigators from the state Department of Insurance and Butte County District Attorney’s Office served the warrants after a year-long investigation into an alleged over-billing scheme practiced by both chiropractors.
District Attorney Mike Ramsey said a patient of one of the chiropractors became suspicious after noticing that the office billed her insurance for services that weren’t provided. Three investigators went undercover as patients with insurance seeking treatment, and apparently they uncovered irregularities in the billing.
Also served with search warrants on June 19 was a Sacramento lawyer with a Chico “satellite” office who might have been referring patients to the chiropractors for a fee, Ramsey said. However, because investigators don’t have “concrete” proof of his involvement, Ramsey said, his name is not being released.
Neither Gibson nor Powers returned phone calls for comment.