Man who led CHP, police on pursuit with kids inside car pleads not guilty


A man who allegedly led California Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed chase throughout San Mateo County last month, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of evading police, child endangerment and driving on a suspended license.

John Bivens, 23, of East Palo Alto, was arrested on April 29 after he attempted to evade CHP officers and Menlo Park police while his two young children were inside his car, according district attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

At 9:30 p.m. CHP officers spotted Bivens driving 85 miles per hour on Interstate Highway 280 near Bunker Hill Drive exit in San Mateo, prosecutors said.

A CHP officer pulled Bivens over and as the officer stepped out of his patrol vehicle Bivens hit the gas pedal and took off, according to prosecutors.

A chase ensued and Bivens reached up to 100 miles per hour.

Officers lost sight of Bivens' vehicle until it was seen again on U.S. Highway 101 in Redwood City, going southbound at 115 miles per hour, prosecutors said.

Bivens then exited the freeway at Willow Road in Menlo Park and sped through the city at 40 miles per hour, going through multiple stop signs and often veering into the coming lane, according to prosecutors.

Bivens then stopped his vehicle near the intersection of Bay Road and Berkeley Avenue and fled on foot, prosecutors said.

Menlo Park police searched the area and found Bivens hiding behind garbage cans, prosecutors said.

Inside his vehicle, police found Bivens' two children, aged 4 and 5, along with their mother, prosecutors said.

Police noted neither child was in a car seat.

Bivens fled from police because he had two warrants for his arrest, prosecutor said.

A pretrial conference is set for July 28 and a jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 14. Bivens is currently in custody on $50,000 bail.

An attorney for Bivens was not immediately available for comment.

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