FAIRFIELD — An ex-con who allegedly ran down a motorcyclist during the Friday afternoon commute on eastbound Interstate 80 in Vallejo before leading authorities on a long high-speed chase that caused several crashes before ending with his arrest south of Napa made his first court appearance Tuesday.
Robert S. Shank, 42, of Napa, pleaded not guilty to premeditated attempted murder and felony assault charges. He also pleaded not guilty to a felony evading police charge, three charges of hit and run, a pair of attempted carjacking charges and a felony charge of driving under the influence causing an injury accident.
Shank was speeding past cars using the freeway’s center divide when he swerved into the fast lane and struck the motorcycle whose rider was tossed onto the freeway, according to Solano County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dax West, who witnessed the crash from his patrol car.
West radioed word of the crash to dispatchers as he took off after Shank, who sped off with the wrecked motorcycle hanging from the front bumper of his old Nissan pickup.
At speeds nearing 100 mph, West followed Shank from Vallejo to the streets of Cordelia and then onto Highway 12, where Shank allegedly caused a three-car crash. As West stopped to assist victims of the second crash, a pair of California Highway Patrol officer flying overhead in a helicopter took over the pursuit and watched Shank get in a third crash on Highway 29.
After the crash, Shank allegedly tried to carjack a car and a motorcycle before being arrested by authorities at gunpoint.
Shank had bail set at $750,000 and was ordered back to court March 15 for a probable cause hearing.
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