Man parked at HCSO grounds flees MPs after asking for field sobriety test

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in court and any person described must be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

Mark Steven Franks

On August 26, 2022, at approximately 2:14 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a suspicious vehicle investigation into a vehicle that had parked in the cobblestone parking lot of the HCSO Eureka Main Station, impeding a patrol vehicle to get out.

Deputies contacted the driver, Mark Steven Franks, 55. During his interactions with Deputies, Franks displayed behavior often associated with individuals on a controlled substance or experiencing a behavioral health emergency. Deputies requested the assistance of a Eureka Police Department (EPD) traffic officer to conduct a field sobriety assessment. While waiting for officers to arrive, Franks put his vehicle into reverse and quickly accelerated, nearly hitting the deputies. A deputy was slightly injured.

Franks then led EPD deputies and officers in a vehicle chase through Eureka. During the chase, spike bands were deployed twice. Although the spike bands managed to deflate the vehicle’s tires, Franks continued to evade law enforcement in the vehicle. In the area of ​​Broadway Street at West Clark Street, Franks’ vehicle collided with three EPD patrol cars and an HCSO patrol car, causing minor collision damage. No law enforcement officers were injured as a result of the collisions.

Following the collisions, Franks’ vehicle came to a stop, and after several minutes of negotiation, Franks surrendered peacefully to law enforcement.

Franks was incarcerated in Humboldt County Correctional Facility for assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm (CP 245(a)(1))escape from a peace officer (VC 2800.2) and resist a peace officer (CP 148(a)(1)).

Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Information Line at (707) 268- 2539.

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Denise W. Whigham