Officer recounts chase following deadly hit-and-run


OROVILLE, Calif. - Oroville police said an officer was just a few cars behind a truck that hit and killed a bicyclist Tuesday night. The driver of that truck then tried to leave the scene.

Michael Cesspooch, 53, was biking near Oro Dam Boulevard and Feather River Boulevard around 8:30 p.m. when police said he was hit by a white pickup truck.

"The eyewitness stated the bicyclist, bicycle, got caught under the truck at which point the suspect vehicle was dragging the bicycle," said Oroville Patrol Sergeant, Rubin Quihuiz.

The witness told police that the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Anthony Abuanbar, 37, stopped only to pull the bike from under his truck.

Officer Khan with the Oroville Police Department was a few cars back when the incident happened. Officer Khan approached the truck thinking at first it might have been stolen.

"However, during the course of him pursuing a ford pickup, it was determined that in fact that the pickup was involved in a vehicle versus pedestrian traffic collision" said Quihuiz.

That is when the chase began. Police said that the suspect failed to yield when Khan turned on his lights and sirens.

Quihuiz said the chase led through an industrial area and eventually to Highway 70. From there, it went onto Pacific Heights Road. Other officers joined the chase, including officer Quihuiz.

Eventually, Abuanbar surrendered near Pacific Heights Road and Hilgers Road.

As for the victim, Cesspooch, an officer and certified paramedic arrived on scene and tried to save him.

"He performed life saving efforts until the arrival of the Oroville Fire Department and first responders arrived," said Quihuiz. "During that time unfortunately, the victim died as a result of his injuries."

Abuanbar was booked into Butte County Jail for involuntary vehicular manslaughter, evading a peace officer, hit and run causing great bodily injury, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol causing great bodily injury, and hit and run with property damage. His bail was set to $270,000.00 .