A dispute over payment for a business transaction led to a chase and collisions that closed a portion of southbound Interstate 5 for about four hours early Monday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
At 2:53 a.m., the CHP's Woodland-area office received a report of a traffic collision on southbound I-5 just south of County Road 102 involving a 2011 Nissan Juke and a 2012 Ford Focus.
Following an investigation, CHP officers determined that the collision was the culmination of a dispute that began when a 30-year-old Stockton man answered and online escort advertisement posted by Martin Andrade, 21, of Sacramento. The Stockton man drove to Andrade's residence, where the business transaction took place. Leaving an undisclosed amount of money, the Stockton man then left the residence.
But Andrade apparently considered the amount insufficient and told his roommates, Brady Dee Douglas, 27, and Clifton Demarcus Sharpe, 25, according to a CHP news release. Sharpe and Douglas confronted the Stockton man outside the residence, but the man drove away and Sharpe, with Douglas as his passenger, followed in a 2011 Nissan Juke.
They pursued the man northbound on I-5, with Douglas at one point brandishing a gun and demanding money, officials said. The Stockton man exited the freeway at County Road 102 and then headed southbound on I-5, with Sharpe and Douglas in pursuit. Douglas allegedly threw a bottle at the Ford Focus. Fearing for his safety, the Stockton man veered toward the Nissan. While both vehicles were out of control, Douglas allegedly fired multiple rounds from a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, striking the Ford, according to the news release.
The vehicles collided again. The Nissan went into the left lane and the Ford, onto the right shoulder.
After the collision, the Stockton man continued driving southbound to the County Road 103 overcrossing, where he got out of the Ford. He ran east across the freeway and was contacted by security personnel at the Walgreen's Distribution Center. At the same time, Sharpe got out of the Nissan and walked to the freeway median, while Douglas got into the driver's seat and attempted to move the car, officials said.
Before Douglas could move the Nissan out of the lane, it was struck by a Honda Civic driven by a 20-year-old Woodland woman. Officials said Douglas got out of the Nissan just before it was struck by another vehicle, a 1993 Dodge Ram pickup pulling a trailer and driven by a 79-year-old man from Yakima, Wash.
Sharpe, Douglas and Andrade were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime. Sharpe also was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. All three were booked into Yolo County Jail.
Southbound I-5 was reopened to traffic shortly after 7 a.m.