The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 11-13-2021 a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy observed Lawrence Ortiz driving a vehicle which made a turn against a red light causing other motorist to stop to avoid a collision in the 1250 block of Main Street in Willits, California.
The Deputy initiated a traffic stop and Ortiz drove his vehicle into the parking lot of a local gas station. Ortiz then pulled back onto Main Street and started driving on the wrong side of the road against oncoming traffic in attempt to evade the Deputy. Several vehicles had to maneuver to avoid a collision.
A short pursuit ensued until Ortiz stopped near the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Hazel Street (Willits) where Ortiz was taken into custody without further incident.
Ortiz exhibited symptoms of illicit drug use, was evaluated and determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance.
The Deputy conducted a law enforcement records check and learned Ortiz was on Mendocino County summary probation and his drivers license was suspended/revoked.
Ortiz was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the listed charges where he was to be held in lieu of $20,000.00 bail.