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Former NASCAR Driver Nabbed After High-Speed Chase Now Suspected Of Attempted Rape

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Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 2:35 PM

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This is the story of a guy who really could get arrested. A couple weeks ago we told you the how a former NASCAR driver, despite getting away from authorities in a high-speed chase, got caught when the Corvette he was lead-footing croaked in an engine FAIL that would make BP proud.

James Edward Neal, 56, had been sentenced to 30 days in jail for the Orange County-to-San Diego chase and somehow made it out Monday and immediately went to the home of a 55-year-old woman he recently met and communicated with while behind bars, according to reports. That woman dialed 911 to alleged that he had tried to rape her, putting Neal back behind bars.

His bail was set at $1 million.

According to reports Neal called the woman from jail to say he was being released and then went directly to her home. Someone called authorities to report a domestic disturbance at the victim's home in the 20700 block of El Toro Road in Lake Forest about 6 a.m. Monday, Orange County Sheriff's officials said.

"The woman said James Neal had attempted to rape her and would not leave,'' O.C. Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. "He is being charged with attempted rape and false

imprisonment, and this was four-and-a-half hours after being released from jail.''

The suspect led authorities on a high-speed chase May 17 south on the 5 freeway in San Clemente. He went so fast -- a reported 140 miles an hour -- in a C-5 Corvette that deputies and California Highway Patrol officers apparently called off the pursuit. But CHP officers caught up with him in San Diego after the Corvette's motor gave out and Neal ended up stranded at the side of the freeway.

Now, if we were given such a get-out-jail-free card -- with the cops giving up and all -- we would have immediately pulled off the freeway and laid low at an AM/PM, savoring supersized soda and nachos dripping with cheese. We know the terrain: There's that barren terrain between San Clemente and Oceanside called Camp Pendleton. No AM/PMs. But all the way to La Jolla?

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