On Thursday August 21, 2008 at approximately 4:35 PM, Butte County Sheriff’s Deputy S. Paley observed a wanted parolee at large, Joseph Kenneth Simpson (08-22-77) of Honcut, in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Oroville. Simpson fled southbound on Feather River Blvd.
On Thursday August 21, 2008 at approximately 4:35 PM, Butte County Sheriff’s Deputy S. Paley observed a wanted parolee at large, Joseph Kenneth Simpson (08-22-77) of Honcut, in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Oroville. Simpson fled southbound on Feather River Blvd., in a black 1993 Chevrolet S10 pickup. Deputy Paley pursued Simpson, as he fled across Highway 70 at Georgia Pacific and turned south on Pacific Heights Rd. Simpson’s speed peaked at 80 mph on Pacific Heights. He turned into the Oroville Wildlife Area and drove the dirt roads, circling back out to Pacific Heights Road nearly a mile south of where he entered the Wildlife Area.
Simpson fled down to the south end of Power House Hill Road and into a field. He disabled the pickup he was driving and fled on foot until he stole a 1997 Dodge 2500 4X4 diesel pickup from the ranch he was at. Deputy Paley detained the passenger of the S10 pickup, Winter Snow Juliussen (06-22-85) and arrested her for a Yuba County DUI warrant, and transported her to the Butte County Jail where she is being held without bail pending extradition to Yuba County.
Simpson continued to flee from other pursuing Deputies in the stolen Dodge. He exited the field through a fence and fled southbound on Highway 70. Deputy J. Thao became the primary pursuing Deputy, and observed Simpson passing traffic southbound on Highway 70 on the right shoulder of the road. Sgt. A. Borgman was southbound on Highway 70 ahead of the pursuit, and attempted to slow Simpson. However Simpson continued at a high rate of speed and Sgt. Borgman allowed him to pass so Simpson would not pass into oncoming traffic. Sgt. Borgman became the primary pursuing Deputy, and Simpson continued to flee at approximately 85 mph. He passed another line of traffic on the right shoulder in the area of Cox Lane, but the cars stayed to the left, in their traffic lane. Simpson continued south through the intersection of East Gridley Road, proceeding straight through the left turn lane, against a red light. A white Toyota pickup lawfully proceeding through the intersection, turning left onto northbound Highway 70 from east bound East Gridley Road fortunately stopped in time to avoid being struck by Simpson. Simpson continued south on Hwy. 70 reaching a maximum speed of approximately 105 mph.
Deputy Thao assumed primary in the pursuit and Simpson turned east onto Lower Honcut Road. Then a CHP Officer took over as primary pursuing Officer, and a Butte County Sheriff’s Helicopter observed from the air. Simpson continued to flee through Honcut, to LaPorte Road. He then went off road again, crashing though fencing to enter a pasture off of Homer Lane. He came back out onto LaPorte Road, and Deputy D. Bottom became the primary pursuing Officer for a short time. Then Simpson turned northbound on Dunstone Drive, a dirt road, and Sgt. Borgman resumed primary in his assigned 4X4 Expedition. Although Simpson at times reached speeds of 60 mph on the gravel road, due to the remoteness of the area, the lack of any other traffic, and the 4X4 capability of multiple units involved in the pursuit or converging in the area, the pursuit was not cancelled.
Simpson turned east onto Bangor Park Road, and continued at speeds of 40-60 mph. He nearly wrecked a number of times, and was throwing objects out of the vehicle, in an apparent attempt to dissuade Deputies from continuing to pursue him. However, by the time that Simpson reached the paved portion of Bangor Park Road in Bangor, he had slowed significantly to a maximum speed of 20-25 mph. Deputies J. McNulty and J. Deal in a double unit assumed primary in the pursuit. He turned into the driveway of 121 Bangor Park Road, drove past the residence, through another gate and into a field. Deputies McNulty, Deal, Bottom and B. Meyer pursued Simpson into this field, and the other Officers in the area surrounded the field from Bangor Park Road and from the Cemetery on LaPorte Road just south of Oroville Bangor Highway.
Simpson continued through one more fence and stopped. Deputies attempted to get Simpson to come out of the vehicle, but Simpson tried to keep driving. He began to move the Dodge pickup in a way that was threatening to the safety of the Deputies. But Simpson had caused too much damage to the pickup and it stopped. Deputies broke windows out of the pickup using batons and were able to remove Simpson from the vehicle and take him into custody. Simpson received cuts from the broken glass and was treated at the scene. Simpson was transported by Deputies to the Butte County Jail, where he was booked for 2800.2 CVC, felony evading a Peace Officer, 10851 CVC, felony auto theft, 148(a)(1) PC, resisting arrest, 594(b)(1) PC, felony vandalism and an outstanding warrant out of Butte County for 666 PC, petty theft with a prior. He is being held in the Butte County Jail without bail due to the Parole violation.
A Cal-fire engine was requested from Station 55, to stand by in case a grass fire broke out since the pursuit ended in a pasture of dry grass standing 12”-18” tall. Cal-Fire stayed at scene until the pickup and all patrol units left, and no fire started. Even though Simpson extensively damaged two pickups to the point of them no longer being drivable, pursuing units only suffered minor windshield damage due to rocks flying on gravel roads, and one flat tire in the field where the pursuit ended. The value of the damage caused by Simpson will be added together and sent to the District Attorney, to request restitution to the victims. If anyone suffered damage to a fence due to this pursuit and they have not been contacted by the Sheriff’s Department, they should call the Butte County Sheriff’s Department at 530-538-7321 and request to speak to Deputy Paley or Sgt. Borgman.