A man suspected of being the subject of a pursuit that resulted in the death of a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer Wednesday night has been arrested.
The CHP announced Thursday night that Alberto Morales Quiroz, 26, was taken into custody at 11:45 a.m. Thursday in connection with the death of Officer Lucas Chellew.
Investigators believe that Quiroz was the suspect riding an allegedly stolen motorcycle that the officer was chasing when he was involved in a collision that resulted in Chellew being fatally injured, according to a CHP news release.
Quiroz was booked into Sacramento County Main Jail at 7 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of evading a police officer and driving in a reckless manner, vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, and resisting arrest, jail records show. Bail was set at $60,000 for those charges, most of which are felonies.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday at 1:30 p.m. in Department 63 of the Sacramento Superior Court, which is located in the jail.
Quiroz was also booked on an outstanding arrest warrant from the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, with bail set at $75,000. The basis for the Placer warrant was not immediately available.
In Sacramento County, court records show Quiroz pleaded no contest in April 2016 to a misdemeanor charge of identity theft and was sentenced to three years searchable probation and 45 days in the sheriff’s work project – later changed to 45 days in jail when he failed to comply with the terms of his sentencing.
Chellew, 31, of Granite Bay was an eight-year veteran of the CHP, a husband and father of two children. His father and sister were also CHP officers.
He was on his motorcycle pursuing a fleeing motorcyclist on Fruitridge Road, east of Highway 99, about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The chase ended about a minute later, just past Stockton Boulevard, after a silver car crossed the officer’s path, the CHP said. Chellew collided with the right side of the car and was ejected from his motorcycle, according to officials. Witnesses described the officer lying face down on the sidewalk, not moving.
Chellew suffered major injuries from the crash and was taken to UC Davis Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:11 p.m.
The CHP thanked agencies that assisted with the arrest, including the Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento Probation Department, the U.S. Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force, the Delta Regional Auto Theft Task Force and the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force.
Although an arrest has been made, the investigation continues. Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the CHP Valley Division at 916-731-6300.