A Concord man, who reportedly drove the wrong way for 30 miles on East Bay freeways earlier this month and fled from authorities after crashing into another motorist in Berkeley, has been arrested.
The California Highway Patrol arrested Jerome Wingert, 33, at around 3:10 a.m. Wednesday at a Berkeley hotel. The arrest was made by CHP officers with assistance from Berkeley police, according to CHP spokesman Officer Clayton Nett.
Wingert has been involved in at least two other high-profile pursuits with Bay Area law enforcement agencies over the past seven years, according to media reports.
The recent chase began at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, May 17, in Concord when police there spotted Wingert in a Honda Accord that had been reported stolen, according to Officer Sean Wilkenfeld, a CHP spokesman. Wingert evaded officers, the CHP says, traveling in the wrong direction on the freeway for about 30 miles, before exiting in Berkeley. There, police say he crashed into an SUV near the corner of Hearst Avenue and California Street. The SUV's driver, Zaya Yaro, 45, of Santa Clara, suffered minor injuries in the collision.
Officers aided by a CHP helicopter and a Richmond police canine searched the neighborhood for several hours, but he managed to avoid capture. The California Highway Patrol says it continued to investigate the incident and ultimately identified Wingert as the driver of the stolen Honda.