On April 25, 2022, at about 7:05 p.m., an officer with the Eureka Police Department observed a recently reported stolen vehicle parked at a gas station on the 3500 block of Broadway. The officer parked behind the vehicle and initiated a high-risk traffic stop. The driver, later identified as 22-year-old Thomas Arriaga III of Eureka, fled in the stolen vehicle, traveling east on Highland Avenue at high speeds.
The officer began to pursue the stolen vehicle from a safe distance and observed Arriaga start to lose control due to excessive speeds. Arriaga was unable to navigate a turn where Highland Avenue dead ends at Utah Street and collided with a steep grassy embankment, causing major damage to the vehicle. Humboldt Bay Fire and City Ambulance was immediately requested to respond.
Arriaga was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless evading, and numerous traffic violations. Arriaga was transported to the hospital with major injuries. A dog inside the vehicle suffered moderate injuries and was released to its owner. CHP is handling the collision investigation. The case will be forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office upon completion.