Sword-wielding Veteran arrested after ramming patrol car

HORNBROOK — A military Veteran who was experiencing a mental health crisis was arrested yesterday afternoon, June 28, after leading CHP on a dangerous, 130 mph pursuit and then ramming an officer’s patrol vehicle.

Although the officer’s SUV caught fire after the collision and the alleged suspect refused to exit his heavily damaged vehicle, the man was eventually taken into custody after an officer – also a retired military Veteran – helped calm the man and convince him to surrender peacefully.


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Yreka CHP officers were first alerted to the man’s crisis around 12:30 p.m., when they were notified about a possible reckless vehicle driven by a military Veteran, northbound on I-5 at a high rate of speed. CHP was also notified that the vet, later identified as 28-year-old Carlsbad resident, Jesse Michael Devivo, might be suffering from a breakdown, CHP later reported.

“Moments after the hearing the call on the radio, a Yreka CHP Officer (spotted) a vehicle matching the description, driving at a high rate of speed, northbound on I-5, north of the North Yreka exit,” explained CHP.

As the officer caught up with Devivo’s vehicle, the driver refused to yield to the officer’s lights and siren and moved to the slow lane, where he began passing other cars at speeds in excess of 130 mph.

A CHP pursuit of a military Veteran possibly experiencing a mental health crisis ended after the Carlsbad resident intentionally rammed an officer’s patrol SUV, causing it to catch fire. No serious injuries were reported after the incident. CHP photo

CHP continued pursuing Devivo until he made a right-hand U-turn on I-5, just north of the Henly Hornbrook and Copco Rd. over-crossing. Devivo then used the grass shoulder in an attempt to continue fleeing from CHP, and began heading southbound within the northbound lanes of traffic.

As Devivo accelerated into oncoming traffic, the CHP officer used his patrol SUV to try and block the fleeing man’s path and to protect other motorists, at which time Devivo sped toward the officer’s vehicle and “intentionally rammed” the officer’s car head-on, according to CHP.

Although the distressed Veteran immediately tried to flee from his white sedan, he quickly discovered his doors were jammed due to the high-speed, front-end impact with the officer’s car and he was trapped.

The tremendous impact also caused the officer’s SUV to catch fire; however, “thanks to the help of a witness, the fire was extinguished rapidly,” CHP explained.

For about the next 15 minutes, the suspect remained in his vehicle refusing to exit his wrecked vehicle “and even brandished a sword multiple times,” said CHP.

As the tense standoff continued, multiple CHP officers and Siskiyou County sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene to assist the officer who was continuing to hold the Veteran at gunpoint.

A Siskiyou County deputy who also happened to be a military Veteran was eventually able to connect with Devivo and began communicating with him. The deputy managed to quickly calm Devivo, and convinced him to  climb out of his car through one of the vehicle’s windows on his own accord.

Once out of the car, Devivo was taken into custody without any use of force, according to CHP.

After his arrest, Devivo was transported to Fairchild Medical Center and was later booked into Siskiyou County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and reckless evading officers.

After the potentially deadly incident, officials explained CHP and other local law enforcement agencies are aware of mental health issues and have been receiving continued training to help those with mental health disorders, saying, “We are grateful this incident was able to come to a conclusion without any serious injuries.”

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.

One comment

  • It appears that the only reason this man armed with a sword and driving his vehicle with intent to harm survived is because he may have been a veteran. Have to wonder how this incident makes the family of Daniel Shaham feel. Shaham who was parked legally and allegedly was wielding a knife was executed within seconds of his interaction with Siskiyou county CHP. https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article175741376.html

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