Thank you for stopping

Butte County deputies did the right thing by ending a recent high-speed chase

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office started the year off with a high-speed chase—not uncommon in this area—but deputies called off the pursuit after just a mile and a half in the interest of public safety. Can we just say: Amen to that!

First the facts: At about 4:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day, deputies closed in on Ryan Scott Rash, 30, outside a home on Jasper Way in Chico. There was a felony warrant out for his arrest for failure to complete the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program, according to a press release. When deputies contacted him, however, he allegedly took off—first on food, then by car. He was pursued, but because of the amount of traffic in the area and the high rate of speed, the chase was called off.

The CN&R has long advocated for improved safety protocols when it comes to law enforcement pursuits. A local nonprofit, PursuitSAFETY, was started after a teenage girl was killed as a result of a police chase that did not involve her. That incident happened in 2002; others have followed. Just a year ago, the CN&R noted a string of high-speed pursuits in Butte County that involved drivers reaching unsafe speeds or putting others in harm’s way.

We advocated then for the early termination of such chases. Finally, it seems, someone is listening. We hope that innocent bystanders continue to be at the forefront of officers’ minds when seeking an arrest, particularly for nonviolent offenses.