Tesla driver evades CHP, nearly hits constructions workers

A man, who was allegedly driving naked, failed to stop for law enforcement officials and nearly struck several constructions workers Monday afternoon, July 30.

Jospeh Larcher Hoyt, 31, of Reno, was arrested and booked into the Lassen County Jail with bail set at $31,500, according to a statement from the CHP.

The incident caused the temporary closure of Highway 395.

About 2 p.m. Monday, a California Highway Patrol officer observed a black Tesla failing to stop for a flagger within the construction zone on Highway 395, north of Sears Road, and proceeded to stop the vehicle. He noticed the driver was allegedly naked.

Upon contact, the statement noted, the driver of the Tesla, identified as Hoyt, allegedly began to accelerate the vehicle, traveling northbound in the construction zone, nearly hitting several construction workers.

Following Hoyt with lights and sirens, the CHP officer alerted the CHP Communications Center of the pursuit.

The statement alleged Hoyt continued to travel northbound on Highway 395 for several miles before two sets of spike strips ultimately slowed the vehicle down to about 30 mph.

Officers then performed a Pusruit Immobilization Technique, which caused the vehicle to spin 180 degrees in a northeast direction.

Hoyt allegedly accelerated the Tesla striking a CHP vehicle, causing him to be pinned in and stopped by three other CHP vehicles.

The statement continued Hoyt refused commands to show his hands or exit the vehicle.

After he made some “furtive type movements” inside the vehicle, the statement read, CHP officers deployed tazers through the broken windows. CHP claimed the tazers were ineffective, as Hoyt climbed into the backseat of the Tesla and appeared to be reaching into the trunk.

At this time, the statement continued, officers removed Hoyt from the backseat and placed him in handcuffs.

He was taken to Banner Lassen Medical Center for medical clearance before being booked into the Lassen County Jail.

Moreover, during the investigation, officers located a black cat on the right front floor board of the Tesla. With help from the Susanville Fire Department volunteer Benny Morrow, the cat was safely removed from the vehicle, according to the Susanville Fire Department.

CHP extends appreciation to other agencies that helped during the incident: the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, Susan River Fire Protection District, SEMSA and the Susanville Fire Department.


** An earlier report mislabeled who helped rescue the cat.