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Update: SF Man Held After Happy Valley Police Chase

Mark Bianchini was driving a truck stolen from Castro Valley, and sped into a power pole at Soares Lane and Happy Valley Road, Lafayette, police say.

Updated, 10:00 a.m. Friday. Added report from Lafayette PD. Added power outage details.

A San Francisco man was arrested after an early morning car and foot chase in Lafayette of the driver of a stolen truck, police said.

The truck struck and sheared a power pole on Soares Lane near Happy Valley Road. That left Happy Valley Road blocked during the morning commute Friday and cut power to area residents.

At about 2:40 a.m. Friday, a Lafayette PD officer tried to stop a black Ford truck that was veering erratically on Highway 24 eastbound, reported Lafayette PD spokesman Jimmy Lee. The truck stopped on the Oak Hill Road off-ramp and then took off again, leading the officer on a pursuit onto Deer Hill and Happy Valley roads. The CHP had been looking for the truck and assisted Lafayette PD, Lee said.

The truck was stolen from Castro Valley several days earlier, Lee said. When the truck hit the pole, wires fell to the ground. The driver was arrested after a brief foot pursuit.

Mark Bianchini, 38, of San Francisco was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on charges of stolen vehicle, felony evasion, possession of stolen property, drug possession and resisting arrest. He is being held in lieu of $95,000 bail.

PG&E was on the scene of a downed power pole on Happy Valley Road, Lafayette, Friday morning. Happy Valley Road was blocked between Cricket Hill Road and Soar

Initially, power was out to 1,795 customers, PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said, but most had their power restored in 20 or 25 minutes. PG&E on its outage map at 7:30 a.m. reported power off to eight customers in the area. PG&E on Friday morning was estimating power restored by 7 p.m. Friday.

Authorities are hoping to reopen Happy Valley Road Friday afternoon.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Anne Rabe March 02, 2013 at 02:14 AM
Happy Valley Road is still closed as of 6PM tonight. (3/1)
LamorindaMan March 02, 2013 at 02:19 AM
Pursuing this guy onto residential streets was a poor decision.
LamorindaMan March 02, 2013 at 04:57 AM
Well, Villiage Idiot, they did a horrible job. A major residential road has been closed for in excess of 12 hours. There are NO detour signs. People have been getting lost going through the Downs trying to find their way to Camino Pablo. The guy was speeding on a residential street. The pursuit should have been stopped. Why cops think it's ok to endanger innocent civilians is beyond me. Your screen name does seem to be accurate, Idiot.
LamorindaMan March 02, 2013 at 04:59 AM
9pm and this road is still closed. Absurd. No detour signs. Epic failure.
Claire March 02, 2013 at 05:21 AM
And, it was no fun having my power go out at 2:45 this morning.
The Village Idiot March 02, 2013 at 05:40 AM
You're right. They should have just let the drug possessed thief run away into the residential area so that we weren't inconvienced.
LamorindaMan March 02, 2013 at 05:57 AM
Inconvenienced or placed in danger. Idiot, he was only in this residential neighborhood because he was being chased. As soon as he exited into this neighborhood, the chase should have been ceased.
The Village Idiot March 02, 2013 at 06:46 AM
We're both talking about the safety of the community. We weren't there (I'm assuming). Hopefully the police made the right call. I apologize for my initial reaction, LamorindaMan.
LamorindaMan March 02, 2013 at 02:01 PM
No big deal, TVI. At 2am the risk to the public is probably at its minimum. I'm more curious to know if we have a pursuit policy & if so what does it state because the outcome of this chase could have been tragic had it occurred 6 hours later at 8am or 12 hours later at 2pm when the chase would have gone right by an elementary school crowded with kids arriving or departing.
Denise Senft March 06, 2013 at 11:30 PM
As of yesterday, Mark, the drug possessed fugitive that caused such havoc, was realized because the authorities could not get it together and press charges. I am sickened to hear about this.
Denise Senft March 06, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Not, "realized," but "released."
concerned March 07, 2013 at 08:22 AM
Denise please let me know where I can get this information about him being released. I thought he wss still in custody and need to make a call to the chp and see why he is not behond bars. Thank you

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