What we like about this story is that the guy actually got away. Authorities called off the chase after he sped south on the 5 freeway at a reported 140 miles an hour in a C5 Corvette. Forget it, the cops said, it's not worth it. He made it all the way to San Diego. And he still got caught. It sounds to us like 56-year-old James Edward Neal, who raced in NASCAR events in the 1980s, got greedy.
The driver was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in jail and three years probation following the early Monday chase. Sheriff's deputies tried to pull him over about 3 a.m. on Avenida Pico because the Corvette didn't have a front plate. The stop would have resulted in a fix-it ticket that could have been settled without even a fine.
Instead Neal faked a near-stop then gunned it down a 5 on-ramp in San Clemente. California Highway Patrol officers took over the chase but apparently lost sight of the sports car and gave up.
But the vehicle's engine apparently failed all the way down in … La Jolla. Authorities caught up with him and took him into custody.
Now really, was gunning it all the way to La Jolla really necessary? He was off the hook. All he had to do was pull off the freeway and lay low for a while. Neal was in it to win it, but his ride, apparently, just wasn't NASCAR quality.
-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.