SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – A San Luis Obispo County jury found a 42-year-old man guilty of evading a peace officer with reckless disregard for the safety of others, driving a stolen motorcycle, and driving on a suspended license, the District Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday.
Lario Garcia Tugas was convicted for two separate incidents, one in 2020 and one in 2021, according to San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow.
The first incident occurred on Feb. 11, 2020, when a Pismo Beach Police officer stopped Tugas for speeding and weaving on Highway 101 in the early morning hours. Tugas gave the officer a fake birthdate and was driving on a suspended license, Dow said.
When it became clear that officers were not going to let Tugas continue driving and his vehicle would be towed, Tugas said 'no, I'm not gonna go,' and sped away without his lights on, Dow said.
This led to a high-speed chase from the freeway onto surface streets until Tugas was arrested.
A year later, on July 12, 2021, Tugas was stopped by a San Luis Obispo Police officer for driving a motorcycle without a helmet, but when the officer ran the license plate it did not match the motorcycle. Dow said this is a trick known as "cold plating" a stolen vehicle.
The motorcycle was reported stolen earlier that year, and its ignition had been damaged to allow it to start without a key, Dow said.
Tugas attempted to drive away, but the officer pulled him from the motorcycle and ordered him to get on the ground. Tugas resisted and pulled the officer's hands off of him and ran away.
Tugas was out on bail for the first incident when he was arrested for the motorcycle incident.
His sentencing is scheduled for July 1 in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.