CHP Air-Ground Speed Enforcement Detail

9 people have died on Highway 70 just in the last 4 months, according to the CHP.

In light of these numbers, the CHP is trying to both educate people about the dangers of speeding, as well as enforce the law.

On Wednesday afternoon, the California Highway Patrol did a speed enforcement detail using an aircraft in and around Oroville: the airplane flew above the highway looking for speeders; once it found a target, the pilot would radio to the officers waiting out on the on-ramp, who would then find the vehicle and pull the driver over.

The aircraft clocked one mangoing 106 miles per hour, and another man going 88 – he turned up to be a suspected DUI driver.

“I hope it makes a difference. We’ve been trying to reinforce the fact that the speed limits are set at that speed for a reason, we don’t set them. The state or the engineers do,” said CHP officer Ryan Lambert.

“There’s no way I was doing 106 miles an hour, it’s completely impossible in this vehicle,” said the driver.

“The aircraft maintained a visual reference of the vehicle throughout the entire time until we stopped. You could hear the airplane officer communicating with us saying ‘it’s turning left, it’s exiting the freeway,’ guiding us directly to the vehicle, so the likelihood that it’s not the right vehicle is 0 probability,” said Lambert.

“Lately with as many fatalities as we’ve had on 70, we need to reinforce these speed limits in our area to get that death number down. It’s 9 in 4 months; it’s ridiculous,” he said.

He says their goal is simply to get people to slow down and reduce the death rate in the area.

In 2 hours, the CHP pulled over about 15 people, all of whom got tickets, and 2 of whom went to jail.


Officer-Involved Shooting

“I said you killed my son man, I said you killed my baby. That’s what I said, and he was laying right there,” said father David Philips.

On Friday Chico police shot and killed 25-year-old Desmond Anthony Philips. Philips suffered from mental illness and had some short term memory loss as well as seizures from previous head trauma.

“He needed to get to the hospital to get some medication, they know that. They’ve been here twice before,” said David Philips.

He called 911 and asked for the fire and medical units.

They said the man was hostile, and that’s when they walked outside and called dispatch.

Phillips and his two grandkids locked himself in two different bedrooms; the father was afraid Desmond would try and stab him, which was the reason for the 911 call.

Chico Police Chief Mike O’Brien said when officers came in, they saw Desmond pacing in a small living room area and holding two knives.

According to Chico PD, Desmond closed the front door so police could not see in. They also received information that he was trying to break into his father’s room and stab him, which is when they went back into the house.

“The subject was now adjacent to the front door and in very close proximity to the officers,” said police Chief Mike O’Brien.

That’s when one of the officers tazed him. The chief said the tazer did not have much of an effect, and, before they could taze him again, Desmond jumped up and started slashing at the officers.

“The tazer went off and then, I would say, in less than 5 seconds, the bullets started going off,” said Philips.

Next door neighbors Nick and his girlfriend Janet were watching from their upstairs window.

“I didn’t even register them as gunshots first because they sounded like fire crackers,” said Janet.

“It sounded like there was a lot of bullets going off,” Nick said.

“I counted at least 7 bullets coming from that officer, not knowing there was another officer shooting my son from over there,” said Philips.

“At least 10 shots were fired,” Nick said.

There are 3 bullet holes in the walls. The two on the main wall went through the wall to the adjacent apartment.

Andrew Perlinger wasn’t home at the time and came back in the morning to find one bullet went through his TV and into his microwave, and the other through both walls and through a shirt in his closet before stopping above his bed.

Now community members are both disturbed and upset, saying we need to work on better handling situations involving mental illness.

Police chief Mike O’Brien says the department did not yet have body cameras, so there was no objective video evidence of what happened.