DUI driver wrecks 8 cars evading Redding officers

REDDING — An allegedly intoxicated driver smashed into and damaged at least eight parked cars, as well as a fence and other private property, while fleeing from Redding police officers early Friday morning, April 19. At the end of the dangerous incident the man, who officials say “violently resisted arrest,” was apprehended and booked into jail for a variety of charges related to the incident.

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City of Redding officers were first alerted to a possible drunk driver at 2:49 a.m., after receiving reports of a hit and run in the area of Galaxy Way and Victor Ave., Redding Police Sgt. Rex Berry later reported.

As officers were responding to the scene, they received additional reports of several more parked vehicles being struck by the suspect’s vehicle.

When officers arrived in the area they quickly located the suspect vehicle and attempted to stop it. The driver failed to yield to officer’s lights and sirens and continued driving.

Officers initiated a pursuit and began chasing the fleeing man, who was later identified as Riley Sheamus Whalen, 19, of Redding.

Riley Whalen, 19, was arrested early this morning after crashing into at least eight parked cars and leading officers on a danger pursuit before crashing through the back fence of a Redding property. Redding PD/DMV photo

As the dangerous pursuit continued, Whalen drove without regard for other citizens or pursuing officers and eventually crashed into two more parked vehicles before crashing through the rear fence of a residence on the corner of Victor Ave. and Galaxy Way.

The final crashes disabled the vehicle Whalen was driving and the drunk driver attempted to flee on foot from the vehicle. Officers quickly moved in to arrest the fleeing man; however, Whalen “violently resisting arrest,” according to Berry, who said, “After a struggle he was taken into custody.”

Officers were eventually able to identify eight parked cars that Whalen was believed to have damaged during his drunken spree.

Officers also determined Whalen was under the influence and he was arrested and later booked at the Shasta County Jail on suspicion of DUI, eight counts of hit and run, resisting arrest, and felony evading.

Anyone who resides in the area and believes their vehicle may have been struck by the fleeing man is encouraged to contact Redding PD at (530) 225-4200. Callers can remain anonymous.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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