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Charges filed against Desert Hot Springs woman accused in weekend DUI pursuit

A suspected drugged driver who led police on a weekend pursuit from Desert Hot Springs onto Interstate 10, forcing a brief freeway shutdown, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, driving under the influence of drugs and evading

The Saturday chase began after officers instituted a traffic stop on Catherine Engebretson, 41, of Desert Hot Springs, near Buena Vista Avenue and Palm Drive around 12:15 p.m. She initially exited the car at officers’ request before getting back in and speeding off, according to police.

Read: Woman arrested in fast lane after slow-speed chase

The chase continued on southbound Palm Drive, then onto eastbound Interstate 10, where Engebretson — armed with a crowbar — allegedly drove in the interstate’s center divider at around 15 to 30 mph.

She stopped the car around Washington Street, but refused to get out, bringing traffic to a standstill on Interstate 10 until officers forced their way into the vehicle and arrested her, according to police.

Engebretson, who remains at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $100,000 bail, is slated to return to court Jan. 22 for a felony settlement conference.

Court records show she previously pleaded guilty in 2009 to DUI causing injury, possession of controlled substances and misdemeanor battery on a peace officer.

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