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‘I should have stopped,’ driver allegedly said after 104 mph police chase

Apr 17, 2023, 4:26 PM | Updated: 4:28 pm

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NEPHI, Utah  — A California man is facing several charges after police say he led officers on a chase going over 100 mph on I-15 before his tires were spiked.

Takahisa Watanabe, 32, of Albany, California, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with failing to stop for police, a third-degree felony; and two infractions for failing to stay in his lane of travel and for going 104 mph in an 80 mph zone.

Watanabe was spotted Thursday by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper going 94 mph on I-15 in Juab County. The trooper attempted to pull Watanabe over but he sped up to 104 mph, according to charging documents.

“He drove erratically and swerved in and out of his lane of travel. After approximately 14 miles, officers deployed spikes. Watanabe attempted to move around the spikes but officers successfully spiked his tires,” the charges state.

Watanabe continued driving and got off the freeway in Nephi, going around an officer who attempted to block the off-ramp.

When the car came to a stop, officers from Nephi police, the Juab County Sheriff’s Office and UHP held Watanabe and his two passengers at gunpoint “until a sufficient number of officers arrived and placed them under arrest,” the charges state.

Watanabe’s two passengers were eventually released. While being booked into the Juab County Jail, a trooper heard Watanabe say, “I should have stopped,” according to a police booking affidavit.

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‘I should have stopped,’ driver allegedly said after 104 mph police chase