Nine hours after leading officers on a chase through the Berkeley Hills, Humboldt County authorities arrested a woman they said claimed to be a federal agent and attempted to hit four people in Berkeley with her car.
The California Highway Patrol (Garberville area) arrested Rahila Jarrett, 48, of El Cerrito just before 2:25 a.m. Friday. She had blown two of her tires into spike strips set up by police in Eureka and eventually made her way outside the Bayshore Mall in that city, authorities said.
Berkeley police had begun pursuing Jarrett just after 5:30 p.m. Thursday following reports that she had a gun and attempted to hit several people with her car. The chase was from Berkeley to Kensington, with Jarrett largely obeying all traffic laws in addition to stopping for officers, police said. In El Cerrito, BPD said, police called off the chase in the interest of safety and because they knew who Jarrett was.
After the pursuit, BPD issued notices to other law enforcement agencies to monitor it. Jarrett, according to emergency dispatch records reviewed by Berkeleyside, had been linked by police to a shooting in Oakland last year and was also wanted on a Contra Costa County warrant related to possession of a loaded firearm and failing to appear in court.
According to the CHP, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office began pursuing Jarrett on the highway after seeing Berkeley’s notice to be on the lookout for her and her Ford Taurus as part of a warrant for crime.
Details available were scant, but the CHP said Eureka police were able to get into position early Friday morning to set up several “spike strips,” which blew two of Jarrett’s tires. She pulled over near the mall, at 3300 Broadway St., but initially refused to get out of her car, the CHP said.
“After some time,” the CHP said, Jarrett turned himself in to authorities and was taken into custody on suspicion of escape and impersonation of a police officer, according to booking records in line.
Jarrett remains in custody at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka, those records show.
Jarrett’s reservation photo was not immediately available as she remained in a sobering cell Friday night and was not photographed, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Sgt. Berkeleyside said.
Jarrett had been arrested in Berkeley nearly a year ago on suspicion of running from police and driving with “willful or wanton disregard” for safety, according to arrest records reviewed by Berkeleyside. But she was never charged, according to Alameda County court records.
Jarrett has no criminal convictions in Alameda County, records show.
After local residents of Queens Road called police Thursday night to report a woman with a waist gun claiming to be a federal agent, according to dispatch records reviewed by Berkeleyside, Jarrett took off in his Ford at a ” high speed”. and was initially driving in reverse, witnesses told police.
When officers arrived, Jarrett was still driving in the opposite direction, although she turned around shortly after, according to dispatch traffic. Officers tracked Jarrett to La Loma and she eventually took Euclid Avenue to Grizzly Peak Boulevard, police said.
Officers widely reported speeds ranging from 15 to 40 mph during the chase, with little to no traffic along the road, records show.
After tracking Jarrett through Kensington and El Cerrito, BPD called off the pursuit at approximately 5:55 p.m. just short of San Pablo Avenue in the Stockton Avenue area.
DPT prosecution policy allows officers to pursue a violent crime involving serious bodily harm; a violent crime involving the use of a deadly weapon; or when there is a credible threat to these results.
Berkeleyside will update this story if additional information becomes available.