UPDATED: Chase speeds along Los Angeles County freeways

A man described as a Pasadena resident and wanted on suspicion of making criminal threats led California Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed chase that began in Altadena and looped around Los Angeles County freeways and surface streets for nearly three hours Sunday, officials said.
Eventually, Pasadena police called off the pursuit and the black Honda slipped into the night.
The chase began about 5:07 p.m. on the 210 Freeway in Altadena, CHP Officer Michelle Bond said. The vehicle was wanted in connection with a criminal threats investigation, however further details were not available.
The fleeing motorist accelerated to speeds of more than 100 mph as the driver fled east beneath the lenses of television news camera, using multiple freeways, before making his way back toward the east via the 210 Freeway.
The fleeing car then headed south on the 605 Freeway before going east on the 10 Freeway through the San Gabriel Valley and transitioning onto the northbound 57 Freeway through Diamond Bar.
CHP officers followed closely behind as the sedan got back onto the 210 Freeway westbound.
The car briefly exited the 210 Freeway in Arcadia shortly after 7 p.m. The driver drove on the wrong side of the road along Foothill Boulevard for several blocks, narrowly avoiding head-on collisions.
Pasadena police, who took over the pursuit once it reached surface streets in their city, cancelled the chase shortly before 8 p.m., Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
No further details were not available.
Police declined to discuss what their tactics will be in proceeding with the investigation.

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UPDATED: Stolen car pursuit ends in a crash in Whittier

WHITTIER >> Police arrested two men and sought a woman after a short pursuit of a stolen car ended in a crash in Whittier Sunday.
Officers tried to stop a reportedly stolen Toyota Prius about 4:20 p.m. in the area of Broadway and Western Avenue, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said. It was being driven by a woman, with two men riding as passengers.
The car sped away, beginning a chase that lasted about 30 seconds, he said.
The Prius then collided with a Honda Odyssey at El Rancho Drive and Howard Street, police said.
A man and woman inside the minivan suffered apparently minor injuries.
All three occupants of the Honda ran, Ruiz said
Officers quickly apprehended the suspected passengers, but the female driver of the Honda was not found.
Juan Carlos Pizano, 27, and Steven Magdaleno, 31, were expected to be booked on suspicion of taking a car without the owner’s permission after being examined at a hospital, according to police and county booking records.

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4 detained after stolen car pursuit from Temple City to Arcadia

ARCADIA >> Sheriff’s deputies detained four people Thursday after a stolen car led them on a brief chase from Temple City to Arcadia, officials said.
The chase began shortly after 6 p.m., when deputies spotted a reportedly stolen car with a driver and three passengers traveling down Rosemead Boulevard near Broadway in Temple City, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Tony Haynes said.
After following behind the car as backup amassed, deputies tried to pull the car over, but the driver failed to stop, initiating a pursuit, the sergeant said.
The driver stopped the car and ran at Huntington Drive and Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia, officials said. He was soon captured.
The driver’s name was not available pending the booking process, Haynes said.
Three passengers of the car were also being detained as the investigation continued late Thursday.

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Police: Pasadena men throw meth from van during chase

PASADENA : Police jailed two Pasadena man — including one already on parole for burglary — who they say through more than an ounce of methamphetamine from their car during a short chase Thursday afternoon.
Manuel Navarro, 33, and Francisco Ricardo Tafolla, were arrested about 4:30 p.m., according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records. Police recovered 29 grams of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $500.
Officers tried to pull over a Nissan van at Cypress Avenue and Villa Street for a traffic violation, but the van failed to pull over and sped away, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
“The van ran a stop sign on Villa and turned south on Lincoln (Avenue), and when they did so, the driver threw methamphetamine out the window,” Mercado said. Police recovered the drugs.
The driver — Navarro — turned onto Eureka Street and pulled over, the lieutenant said. Both men surrendered.
Police arrested Navarro and Tafolla on suspicion of transportation of methamphetamine and evading police, Mercado said.
Navarro was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show. Tafolla, who is on parole following an April burglary conviction, was being held without bail.

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Man killed by deputies in Downey restaurant standoff was sought for questioning in East L.A. slaying, fire

Los Angeles County Sheriff's with other police agencies stand outside the Chris & Pitts restaurants where deputies shot and killed the carjacking suspett in Downey on Thursday September 10, 2015. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s with other police agencies stand outside the Chris & Pitts restaurants where deputies shot and killed the carjacking suspett in Downey on Thursday September 10, 2015. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News)

A man fatally shot by deputies after carjacking a woman in West Whittier, firing shots and taking hostages inside a Downey barbecue restaurant last week was being sought for questioning in connection with the slaying of a woman found dead inside her burning East Los Angeles home in August, authorities said.
Eddie Tapia, 41, died shortly before 9 p.m. Sept. 10, when Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau deputies stormed the Chris’ & Pitt’s restaurant on Lakewood Boulevard in Downey where he had held four people hostage for more than an hour and shot him, according to county sheriff’s and coroner officials. The hostages were freed unharmed.
0918_NWS_WDN-L-TAPIAFOLOThe standoff began after Tapia was spotted driving in a stolen car in the Pico Rivera area, then carjacked a woman in West Whittier before firing shots from a handgun as he fled into the crowded Downey restaurant, officials said.
As the investigation continued into Tapia, an ex-convict released from jail four months prior to the deputy-involved shooting, detectives revealed he had ties to 46-year-old Rocio Vasquez, who was found dead inside her home in the 700 block of Brady Avenue in East Los Angeles home early Aug. 8, Lt. John Corina of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
“Initially, the preliminary consensus was that the fire may have been accidental, but additional investigation, as well as an autopsy, would be necessary to confirm how the victim died,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“It was determined during the autopsy that Victim Vasquez had not died as a result of the fire, but she had been shot and killed prior to the fire being set,” according to the statement.
Though not named a suspect in the slaying, Tapia was one of several persons of interest detectives have been seeking in connection to their investigation into Vasquez’s slaying.
“He was a person we wanted to talk to,” Corina said.
“He was her friend,” the lieutenant said, adding that Tapia was known to frequent the victim’s home.
Tapia’s city of residence was unclear.
No arrests in have been made in Vasquez’s slaying.

— Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales

PHOTO [ABOVE] by Keith Durflinger [BELOW] photo of Eddie Tapia courtesy of the California DMV.

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Ex-convict killed by SWAT team after taking hostages in Downey restaurant identified


Coroner’s officials identified the armed carjacking suspect who was fatally shot by deputies inside a Downey restaurant following a car chase through several communities and taking hostages inside the eatery.
Eddie Tapia, 41, died at the scene after being shot by SWAT deputies at the conclusion of Thursday night’s standoff, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operation Ed Winter said. His city of residence was unknown.
Sheriff’s officials said the man took four people hostage inside the Chris’ & Pitt’s BBQ restaurant at 9243 Lakewood Blvd.
Related: Suspect shot and killed after chase, standoff
Deputies shot Tapia when he didn’t comply with orders to put down his weapon and “posed as an imminent threat to the hostages”, according to a sheriff’s department statement. The department didn’t say how many deputies were involved in the shooting.
• Video: Sheriff’s press conference
Four hostages were rescued, and the suspect’s handgun was recovered. Lt. Darren Harris said the hostages weren’t injured.
“He posed a great risk to the public, and deputies made a split-second decision,” Harris said,

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UPDATED: Armed carjacking suspect fatally shot after fleeing into crowded Downey restaurant following chase

Deputies shot and killed a man with a gun after he burst into a crowded Downey barbecue restaurant Thursday sending patrons and employees fleeing.
The standoff and deputy-involved shooting came at the conclusion after the suspect led police on a wild pursuit and firing a gun into the air authorities said.
The pursuit began shortly before 7 p.m. in the Whittier area, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
A sheriff’s helicopter flying over the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station spotted a Honda Civic that had been reported stolen and was emanating a LoJack tracking signal, sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Parker said.
“As patrol deputies from Pico (Rivera) station were headed to that location, the helicopter pilot and observer watched as the suspect carjacked a person at gunpoint,” Parker said.
The carjacking took place in unincorporated West Whittier.
Deputies as well as CHP officers chased the suspect as he fled along surface streets and freeway lanes through Montebello, Monterey Park, East Los Angeles, and Downey, Parker said. He was involved in at least one hit-and-run collision during the chase.
Pursuing officers used a PIT maneuver to bringing the chase to an end in the 9200 block on Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, officials said.
After crashing his car into another vehicle, the suspect fired a handgun into the air as he fled from his crashed car and ran into a nearby Chris’ & Pitt’s restaurant at 9243 Lakewood Blvd, Parker said.
Patrons and employees could be seen fleeing from the building as heavily armed deputies took positions around the restaurant. It was not clear whether the gunman had any hostages.

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Whittier man arrested after leading West Covina police on chase in stolen car

WEST COVINA >> Police jailed an alleged car thief following a chase Sunday after using a LoJack system to track him to the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant, officials said.
Police ultimately jailed Eric Gonzales, 38, of Whittier on suspicion of auto theft, evading police and resisting arrest, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The incident began about 9:30 a.m. when police detected a LoJack signal emitted from a 2005 Acura Integra reported stolen in Montebello earlier in the day, the lieutenant said.
With help from a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, officers followed the signal to a McDonald’s restaurant on Vincent Avenue, just south of the 10 Freeway, where they spotted him waiting in line at the drive-thru, Patton said.
Once the Acura exited the restaurant, officers tried to pull the car over, he said. “Initially the suspect yielded, but abruptly took off at a high rate of speed.”
Gonzales led officers on a chase down the 10 and 605 freeways before abandoning his car at the Whittier Boulevard offramp of the 605, Patton said. The suspect continued fleeing on foot, but was quickly chased down and captured by an officer.

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West Covina police arrest El Monte gang member following car chase

WEST COVINA >> An El Monte gang member led West Covina police on a chase early Saturday before crashing into a brick wall, officials said.
Manuel Reyes, 36, was jailed following the pursuit, which kicked off just before 1 a.m., West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said. He was already on Post-Release Community Supervision under AB109 guidelines following a previous criminal conviction.
Officers tried to pull over a car for not having license plates in the area of Pacific Avenue and the 10 Freeway, but the car failed to stop, Patton said.
The driver, later identified as Reyes, led officers on a pursuit to El Monte, then backtracked into Industry before crashing into a brick wall at Valley Boulevard and California Avenue, the lieutenant said.
Reyes through a laptop computer and several other items from the car during the chase, he said. Investigators were still working to determine whether the items were stolen.
The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries prior to being booked into jail on suspicion of crimes including evading police and destruction of evidence, Patton said.

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El Monte robbery suspects arrested after chase

EL MONTE >> Police, aided by two K-9s, arrested two El Monte robbery suspects who fled into the San Gabriel Riverbed after leading officers on a chase in a stolen car late Friday, authorities said.
Freddie Huato, 26, and Julian Gutierrez, 24, were booked on suspicion of robbery following their 10 p.m. arrest in the riverbed near in South El Monte, according to El Monte police Lt. Ben Lowry and Los Angeles County booking records. Their cities of residence were not available.
Huato was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the El Monte Police Department’s jail, records show.
Gutierrez was hospitalized in an intensive care unit Saturday for treatment of injuries suffered prior to or during his arrest, Lowry said. It was unclear if the injury, described as a possible cut to the femoral artery, was suffered as Gutierrez fled through the riverbed or when he was ultimately apprehended by a police dog.
The series of events began about 6:30 p.m. when the suspects robbed a man and woman as they stood in front of their home in the 9700 block of Cortada Street in El Monte, Lowry said. After demanding property from the man and woman at gunpoint, the robbers fled the area in a car. A check of the car’s license plate indicated it had been reported stolen.
Officers spotted the car a short time later driving in the north end of the city, Lowry said. The suspects led police on chase for about eight minutes before abandoning the stolen car near Thienes Avenue and Parkway Drive in South El Monte.
After the suspects refused orders to surrender, two West Covina Police Department K-9s were sent in after them, Lowry said. Both were quickly found and arrested with the help of the dogs.

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