Two jailed after wild chase through West Covina

WEST COVINA — Sheriff’s deputies arrested an alleged drunken driver and his passenger Thursday following a wild pursuit in a stolen car that ended in West Covina.
Driver Jose Manuel Gamboa, 36, and passenger Juan Carlos Mejia, 23, were arrested following the pursuit, which initiated shortly after 9 a.m. in at Ballentine Place and Yaleton Avenue, in an unincorporated county area just north of West Covina, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Vega said. Their cities of residence were not clear.
Gamboa was booked on suspicion of possession of a stolen car, unlawful taking of a vehicle, felony evading, reckless driving and assault with a deadly weapon, Vega said.
The assault allegation was stemmed from a collision between the fleeing stolen car and a civilian vehicle during the brief pursuit, which officials said appeared to be intentional. No one was hurt in the crash.
Mejia, who was already on probation, was ultimately booked on suspicion of unlawful taking of a vehicle, Vega said.
After Gamboa refused to pull over for deputies, a chase began which wound around West Covina streets and down the 10 Freeway, officials said. The car traveled at high speeds on surface streets while weaving in and out of traffic.
It came to an end when the car began smoking and came to a stop at Barranca Street and Virginia Avenue in West Covina.
Gamboa and Mejia were then taken into custody without a struggle.
Los Angeles County booking records indicated Gamboa, who was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail, and Mejia, who was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail, were scheduled to appear for arraignment Monday in West Covina Superior Court.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email