Suspect leads Kings deputies and others on 120-mile chase

By The Leader Staff
Suspect Nicholas Newsum
Suspect Nicholas Newsum

A Kings County deputy, on Friday, October 28, at about 1:16 p.m., while patrolling in the area of 18th and Kent avenues in rural Kings County, observed a yellow Hummer driving at a high rate of speed.

The driver of the Hummer, who officers later identified as suspect Nicholas Newsum – and according to a deputy – almost rear-ended the patrol car and, at the last moment, sped around the patrol unit, narrowly avoiding a collision.

The deputy activated his lights and siren, and a pursuit ensued after Newsum failed to yield.

According to the deputy’s report, the suspect drove at speeds nearing 100 miles per hour, failed to stop at several intersections controlled by stop signs, and weaved in and out of traffic. As Newsum approached Lemoore, the deputy discontinued the pursuit due to the time of day and the fact that Lemoore High School was nearby.

The deputy saw Newsum turn east onto Highway 198, prompting him to alert other officers by radio.

 Deputies continued the pursuit in the area of Highway 198 and 13th Avenue. The chase continued east on Highway 198, where deputies say Newsum drove erratically at exorbitant speeds. At one point in the chase, Newsum extended his hand from the vehicle and raised his middle finger, acknowledging that he was being chased.

Upon reaching 4th Avenue, the suspect collided with a semi-truck and spun out of control and into the center median. Newsum regained control of the Hummer and continued to drive east in the westbound lane of Highway 198. At this point, the pursuit was terminated due to the erratic and unsafe way deputies say Newsum was driving.

Kings County Air1 began tracking Newsom. The suspect continued to drive in an unsafe manner. He passed numerous cars on the right shoulder and, on multiple occasions, running cars off the road after attempting to run into them with the Hummer. 

KC Air1 tracked Newsum through Visalia, Tulare, and then Porterville, where he stopped at a fruit stand for a brief time. However, due to the extreme way the suspect drove, none of the law enforcement agencies in the area chose to pursue him.

Air1 continued to follow Newsum as he made his way to Highway 99, where he drove south. Upon arriving in the Delano area, the suspect stopped for fuel. Officers from the Delano Police Department attempted to arrest Nicholas, but he narrowly escaped capture and sped away after nearly striking their patrol units with the Hummer.

As Air1 continued tracking the suspect, Kern County Sheriff’s deputies and the California Highway Patrol entered the pursuit. Newsum continued driving with little regard for the safety of others, and at one point in the chase, law enforcement discontinued the pursuit due to heavy traffic.

However, once traffic became lighter, officers re-engaged the chase.

Authorities successfully deployed spike strips on Highway 99 and CA-166. Both front tires on the Hummer were deflated, and after a short standoff, law enforcement officers arrested Newsom after a chase of approximately 120 miles.  

Officers say that the suspect remained uncooperative. Officers report that the Newsum attempted to kick the plexiglass and windows of the patrol unit and refused to perform field sobriety tests. However, officers say that he later provided a urine sample which they confirmed tested positive for marijuana.

Officers returned the suspect to Kings County, where they booked him into the Kings County jail on charges of reckless driving, evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for public safety, evading a peace officer while traveling the wrong way, hit and run, and assault with a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $105,000.

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