cuffs, handcuffs
Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

A man who allegedly led police on three road chases in northern San Diego County over a four-day period, each time driving so recklessly that officers backed off the pursuits for safety reasons, was arrested Wednesday.

The California Highway Patrol took 24-year-old Thomas William Spoden of San Diego into custody outside the Walmart Supercenter at College Boulevard and Marron Road in Oceanside shortly after 8:30 a.m., CHP public affairs Officer Hunter Gerber said.

Authorities had been trying to apprehend Spoden since Sunday morning, when he allegedly failed to yield for CHP personnel who tried to pull him over on eastbound state Route 78 for reckless driving in a silver Ford Fusion with black stripes.

The officers gave chase, but soon backed off due to the fleeing motorist’s speeding and “erratic” driving, Gerber said.

A similar aborted pursuit involving the CHP occurred about 24 hours later on southbound Interstate 15 in Escondido, and yet another — this one involving campus police from California State University San Marcos — took place shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

In both cases, the fleeing motorist’s dangerously heedless driving prompted officers to abandon their attempts to pull him over.

About an hour after the third road chase, CHP officers and Oceanside police spotted Spoden in a Walmart parking lot and took him into custody, Gerber said.

Spoden was booked into county jail in Vista on suspicion of reckless evading of police and outstanding warrants. He was being held on $100,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.