An alleged car chase that began on Highway 17 has lead to a string of allegations, including theft, drug charges and driving under the influence of drugs. An officer with the California Highway Patrol says that a Toyota 4Runner was traveling north on Highway 17. The officer thought the vehicle had an issue with its equipment and decided to make a traffic stop around 1:55 a.m.

However, the CHP says that the driver of the Toyota left Highway 17, taking the El Rancho Drive exit. Law enforcement says the Toyota sped into Santa Cruz, with the CHP in chase.

Authorities claim that a man jumped from the Toyota while the SUV was still moving on Franklin Avenue in Santa Cruz. The Toyota reportedly slammed in a parked car, while the man accused of fleeing police tried to get away of foot. However, the CHP says that the man was injured after jumping from the SUV.

The 42-year-old man who is accused of leading the CHP on the chase was taken to a hospital in San Jose for treatment.

Authorities claim that the Toyota was stolen from a location in Livermore. Apparently police looked through the allegedly stolen vehicle, as the CHP says that methamphetamine was found inside.

As for the injured man, he now faces charges of auto theft, felony drug possession-ostensibly for the meth allegedly found in the stolen vehicle-as well as, felony reckless evading, and driving under the influence of drugs. Authorities say that the man also had an outstanding warrant for an unidentified drug-related charge from Alameda County.

The CHP says that a puppy was also inside the Toyota. The six-month-old pit bull was turned over to the Santa Cruz animal shelter. The puppy was not injured.

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "CHP: Stolen SUV driver had meth, pit bull in Highway 17 chase," Stephen Baxter, Oct. 17, 2012