Police pilots take down criminal who crashes into F/A-18 fighter jet on base

Footage has surfaced from a high-speed chase that took place in Central California back in 2016, which ultimately resulted in two dead after the vehicle crashed into an F/A-18E Super Hornet.

The chase -which took place on March 31, 2016- was initiated after a California Highway Patrolman pulled over to assist an SUV stopped on the shoulder of a highway near Fresno, California.

Inexplicably spooked by the presence of law enforcement, the SUV fled at high speed.

The footage itself is from the pursuing CHP helicopter, which was called in after the driver of the SUV began fleeing while in the wrong lane of traffic. Using a Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera, the helicopter could keep a clear visual on the SUV as it sped towards Naval Air Station Lemoore, an active airfield where an F/A-18 was making preparations to land.

Seemingly making his way onto the base without even a hint of resistance by base security at what has become home for the Navy’s entire west coast fighter/attack capabilities.

The SUV began driving erratically while on the tarmac, and eventually clipped the horizontal stabilizer of a parked F/A-18E, killing the passenger on impact and slicing the driver’s neck open. Both were pronounced dead on the scene and were later identified as 29-year-old Anthony Castillo and his passenger, 36-year-old Melissa Miller.

After landing near the site where the SUV came to a stop, the two CHP Officers crewing the helicopter dismounted and advanced upon the suspects with weapons drawn.

According to ABC30, the incident drew criticism as to how lax security appeared to be at NAS Lemoore, and a subsequent investigation revealed that there was a massive communication breakdown between Navy security forces and the CHP.

While the incident itself is over two years old, the footage was only recently obtained by Real World Police.

British tabloid Daily Mail mistakenly claimed the incident to be a recent affair, noting that actor Tom Cruise was currently taking part in the filming of Top Gun 2 at the location.

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