Fugitive who jumped from Bay Bridge is caught in Oakland
Weeks after an accused car thief eluded officers by jumping from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, tips provided by the public led to her arrest in Oakland, the California Highway Patrol said.
Erlynn Kay Sanchez-Edwards, 25, was arrested in Oakland on Monday and booked on several charges related to last month’s chase, Alameda County jail records show. She is due in court Tuesday afternoon.
CHP officials say that just after 2 a.m. Aug. 12, Sanchez-Edwards crashed a stolen vehicle on the Bay Bridge then made a daring leap 70 feet down into the water. She swam to shore, then hitched a ride with a dump truck driver who dropped her off in San Francisco.
Two women who were with her at the time did not jump from the bridge and were taken into custody. They were released without being booked.
Sanchez-Edwards’ jump was not from the bridge’s highest point, which is 200 feet above the water, but it was significant enough to cause serious injuries, authorities said.
“It’s actually pretty incredible,” CHP Officer Vu Williams said.
The incident began when a CHP officer driving west on the bridge saw a car spinning out of control on the other side. When the officer turned around and pulled up to the vehicle, it was abandoned, Williams said.
Officers found three women walking in the bike lane, and when they approached the group, one of them — believed to be Sanchez-Edwards — hopped over the side into the water.
Hoping to track the woman, officers threw a dye pack into the bay. The dye showed officers where the woman landed and followed the current. She was seen drifting north under the bridge.
Authorities found an ID card floating in the dye-stained water, but not the woman.
Aided by a helicopter, the CHP and U.S. Coast Guard searched the water until 9 a.m.
After suspending their search, the CHP received several calls from drivers who reported seeing a woman in a soaking-wet dress standing on the side of the road, trying to flag down vehicles.
Finally, a dump truck driver picked up the woman and took her to a “safe location” toward San Francisco, Williams said.
Later, the driver went to the CHP’s Oakland station and described the encounter with his unusual passenger.
The CHP thanked the public in announcing Sanchez-Edwards’ capture on Monday.
“The CHP is grateful for all the information and tips provided by the community. The safe apprehension of this suspect was possible due to this,” the agency tweeted.
Sanchez-Edwards was booked on suspicion of resisting arrest, receiving a stolen car, stealing a car, driving on a suspended license, hit and run and driving under the influence. She’s being held in lieu of $175,000 bail, records show.
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