Woman who jumped off Bay Bridge to escape arrest charged

OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) -- A woman who allegedly evaded arrest last month by jumping into the water after crashing a stolen car on the Bay Bridge was charged Wednesday with three misdemeanor counts.

Erlynn Sanchez-Edwards, 25, of Richmond, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland on the misdemeanor charges of hit-and-run, resisting an officer and driving on a suspended license.

Sanchez-Edwards was arrested in Oakland on Monday.

According to a probable cause statement by California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Traweek, Sanchez-Edwards is suspected of being the driver in a solo-vehicle crash on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge at about 2 a.m. on Aug. 12.

Officers who were driving west on the span saw a silver 2014 Nissan Maxima spinning out in the eastbound lanes and turned around at Treasure Island to investigate, Traweek said.

Once they got back to the crash site, the officers found the vehicle abandoned and saw three women standing on the bridge.

The two women with Sanchez-Edwards told investigators that all three had been working as prostitutes on Mission Street in San Francisco between 16th and 19th streets that night, had been drinking heavily and that Sanchez-Edwards was not a good driver but was driving fast at the time of the crash, Traweek said.

Officer Chad Rishel tried to prevent Sanchez-Edwards from falling from the bridge by applying a handcuff to her right wrist and trying to secure the other handcuff to the bridge rail, but Sanchez-Edwards pulled her wrist away and said, "Don't handcuff me!"

After a two-minute struggle, Sanchez-Edwards was able to pull free from Rishel's grasp and fell from the bridge into the Bay, according to Traweek.

The other two women were apprehended at the scene but officers couldn't find Sanchez-Edwards during a six-hour search that included a U.S. Coast Guard boat and helicopter and a San Francisco Fire Department fire engine and boat, Traweek said.

Officers were able to recover Sanchez-Edwards' identification card and determined that her driving privileges had been suspended and the Nissan had been stolen out of Los Angeles, Traweek said.

He said one of the women told investigators that she had taken BART into San Francisco to work as a prostitute on Mission Street and in the early morning hours, Sanchez-Edwards, who she knew as "Kandi," offered her and the other woman a ride home.

She said Kandi had also been working in the Mission Street area and wanted to go to Oakland to "work" the International Boulevard area, according to Traweek.

She told police that she fell asleep as they drove to Oakland but woke up when the car crashed and slid across the freeway, Traweek said.

She said Kandi had the Nissan for about a month, saying she had bought it at a Los Angeles auto dealer, and she had driven with Kandi on three previous occasions, Traweek wrote.

According to the officer, the woman said, "Kandi was not the greatest driver," had been running red lights and had been drinking.

The other woman told investigators that she also had been working as a prostitute on Mission Street and had gotten a ride with Sanchez-Edwards, although it was her first ride with her, Traweek said.

She said Sanchez-Edwards tried to drive the Nissan after it crashed but it wouldn't drive in a straight line, according to Traweek.

She told investigators all three women got out of the car and started to run "because they were in a bad crash and were 'hella drunk,'" Traweek wrote.

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