WEST COVINA >> Police used bean bag rounds to subdue an uncooperative man following a short police chase early Sunday, officials said.
Fidel Pantoja, 26, of Covina, was booked on suspicion of felony evading of police and resisting arrest following the incident, which kicked off about 12:38 a.m., West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
Officers tried to pull over a car being driven by Pantoja in West Covina but he refused to yield, initiating a chase, Patton said. The pursuit came to an end minutes later when Pantoja stopped his car outside the Brunswick Covina bowling alley in the 1000 block of West San Bernardino Road.
Pantoja exited his car but ignored officer’s orders to surrender, the lieutenant said. Officers shot Pantoja with a bean bag round before taking him into custody.
A knife was found on the ground, within Pantoja’s reach, he said.
Pantoja, who has previous criminal cases pending, was being held in lieu of $155,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
EAST LOS ANGELES >> An allegedly drunken driver crashed his car, ejecting one of three passengers, during a police pursuit that began minutes earlier in Monterey Park early Saturday.
Monterey Park police tried to pull over a car driving with no headlights about 1:35 a.m. as it headed south on Atlantic Boulevard near First Street, Montebello police Sgt. Art Rousseau said.
“The vehicle failed to yield and ramped onto the westbound 60 (Freeway),” he said.
The car crashed as the driver attempted to transition onto the 710 Freeway in East Los Angeles, Rousseau said.
One passenger was thrown from the wreck and was hospitalized in unknown condition, the sergeant said. Two other passengers were treated for apparently minor injuries.
The driver, whose name was not available Saturday afternoon, also suffered injuries believed to be minor in the crash, Rousseau said. He was expected to be booked on suspicion of driving under the influence.
PASADENA >> An allegedly intoxicated driver being chased by the California Highway Patrol collided head-on with another car on the Colorado Street bridge late Friday, injuring four people, officials said.
Delfino Eddie Rey, 58, of Lancaster suffered serious injuries in the crash and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and evading police in connection with the 8:10 p.m. crash on the bridge, which spans the Arroyo Seco, CHP officials said.
CHP Officers were chasing a possibly intoxicated driver eastbound on Colorado Boulevard when the suspects Toyota Corolla collided head-on with a westbound Nissan Maxima, Officer Patrick Kimball said. Paramedics treated four patients, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Rey suffered serious injuries, while two adults in the Maxima suffered injuries described as moderate, Derderian said. A child who was riding in the Maxima suffered injuries described as minor.
Firefighters had to free the three adults from the wreckage, she added.
Prior to the chase, a witness reported seeing the Corolla driving erratically and swerving in lanes at 7:52 p.m., Kimball said. CHP officers caught up with the suspect on Colorado Boulevard near San Rafael Avenue in Pasadena at 8:09 p.m.
Officers briefly chased the suspect as he fled at speeds of up to 70 mph, weaving in and out of lanes and occasionally crossed into oncoming traffic just before the collision, CHP officials said in a written statement.
Officials shut down the Colorado Street Bridge as they conducted an investigation Friday night.
*PHOTO courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department
AZUSA >> Police arrested two people Friday afternoon after they led officers on a chase in a stolen car, then ran through an elementary school before being captured, authorities said.
Parolee Marcus Paul Flores, 21, of Pomona and Hugo Alberto Ramirez, 23, of Duarte, who is on probation, were both being held without bail, according to Azusa police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The incident kicked off about 3 p.m. when an officer tried to pull over a 1999 Honda Civic due to expired registration tags, Azusa police Officer Mike Bires said in a written statement.
“Unknown to the officer, the Honda had been stolen from Temple City the day before,” Bires said.
The driver, later identified as Flores, led the officer on a chase for nearly a mile before crashing into a parked car in the 900 block of East Haltern Avenue, police said. Both Flores and his passenger, Ramirez, ran from the crashed car.
Officer immediately captured Flores, police said. Ramirez ran through Powell Elementary School and into an apartment complex in the 300 block of North Calera Avenue.
“The school staff immediately placed the school on ‘lock down,’ confining the students to their classrooms,” Bires said.
“Police officers immediately surrounded the apartment complex and conducted an extensive foot search for Ramirez,” the officer said. “The officers’ diligence paid off when they located Ramirez trying to conceal himself in a trash dumpster enclosure.”
No students at the school were endangered because of the incident, Bires said.
Flores is accused of auto theft, and was also being held on a no-bail parole warrant, Bires said. Ramirez is accused of resisting arrest and obstructing police, as well as violating his probation.
EL MONTE >> A Pico Rivera man who led police on a chase through the streets of El Monte last month has been sentenced to three years in state prison, officials said Wednesday.
Parolee Gregory Patrick Flexen, 22, received the sentence Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court after pleading “no contest” to a felony charge of evading police with willful disregard for public safety, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
El Monte police arrested Flexen Sept. 8 after he led police on a pursuit during which he drove on the wrong side of the road, and at times, at excessive speeds, officials said.
He also garnered a crowd of onlookers as he drove around city streets at slow speed, flashing hand gestures that appeared to be gang signs.
The chase began at Ranchito Street and Cypress Avenue, EL Monte police Sgt. Eric Sanchez said at the time. Flexen continued driving after his tires were punctured by police spike strips, but ultimately pulled over and surrendered at Peck Road and Elliot Avenue.
WEST COVINA >> West Covina police arrested a wanted parolee Saturday after she led officers on a brief car chase that ended in Covina, officials said.
Rebecca Wechter, 32, of Ventura, was ultimately arrested on suspicion of felony evading of police, as well as violating parole, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The incident began when an officer spotted Wechter driving erratically in a Toyota Camry and tried to pull her over in the area of Garvey Avenue South and Barranca Street, the lieutenant said.
Wechter initially appeared as if she was pulling over before the sped away, initiating a pursuit, he said.
Police chased the Camry to the area of Barranca Avenue and Navilla Place in Covina, where she surrendered to police, Patton said.
Officers quickly determined that Wechter had an arrest warrant for a parole violation, he said.
She was being held without bail pending her initial court appearance, Patton added.
LA HABRA >> A man carjacked a woman in La Habra before leading police on a wild chase that ended in Yorba Linda late Friday, police said.
Gerald Paul Terveer, 47, of La Habra was arrested following the pursuit, which began shortly before 7 p.m., La Habra Police Department spokeswoman Cindy Knapp said in a written statement.
Brea police notified their counterparts in La Habra that a black Ford F-150 pickup truck had been spotted heading west in the eastbound lanes of Lambert Road, Knapp said.
A short time later, the truck rear-ended a gray Ford Taurus that was pulled along the curb, she said.
“(Terveer) exited his vehicle and ordered the woman driver to get out of the car,” Knapp said. “She did so, and he took her vehicle and sped away from the scene.”
The woman was not hurt, she said.
La Habra police officers caught up with the Taurus, initiating a pursuit, Knapp said.
Terveer drove wildly at high speeds during the chase, driving on the wrong side of the road numerous times and nearly colliding with other vehicles, she said. At one point, the car became airborne as it sped off the side of an offramp of the 91 Freeway.
The chase sped through La Habra, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Tustin, Placentia and ultimately Yorba Linda.
It lasted for more than half an hour before the Taurus turned onto a Yorba Linda cul-de-sac, where officers cornered him and took him into custody.
According to Orange County booking records, Terveer was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his arraignment, scheduled Tuesday in Santa Ana Superior Court.
IRWINDALE >> A drunken Covina man led Irwindale police on a 4-mile chase before being arrested late Saturday, officials said.
A detective was patrolling in the area of Arrow Highway and Vincent Avenue about 9:15 p.m. when he noticed late-1990s Honda Accord came to a “screeching stop” at the intersection, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
Suspecting DUI, the detective tried to pull over the car, but it sped away heading south on Vincent Avenue, police said.
The chase reached speeds of up to 70 mph as it wound through surface streets in an unincorporated county area near Covina, Zendejas said.
The driver, 24-year-old Freddy Rios Godoy, ultimately stopped in the front yard of a relative’s home in the 16600 block of Benwood Street, the sergeant said. He was then taken into custody without a struggle.
He was booked on suspicion of intoxicated driving and evading police, as well as an outstanding $10,000 arrest warrant from another law enforcement agency, police said.
According to county booking records, Godoy was being held in lieu of $85,000 bail at the Glendora Police Department’s jail pending his arraignment, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
AZUSA — A teenage auto theft suspect led police on a brief chase before being arrested Wednesday, police said.
The chase began just before 10 a.m. when an officer spotted a 1995 Honda Accord that had been reported stolen driving in the area of Foothill Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue , Azusa police Sgt. John Madaloni said.
The driver, 17-year-old Azusa boy, failed to pull over and led police on a pursuit for about two miles south on Cerritos Avenue, the sergeant said.
After crashing the Honda into a parked car, the driver continued fleeing on foot into the Monte Carlo Inn, officials said.
He was found during a search of the complex and arrested on suspicion of auto theft, evading police and driving without a license, Madaloni said. The teenage suspect was take to a juvenile hall.
Deputies subdued a fleeing, wanted suspect with a Taser Saturday after he tried to run deputies off the road in Pomona, then led them on a freeway chase which ended in a crash in West Covina, authorities said.
Eddie Mendez, 30, of Pomona was arrested following the pursuit, which began about 11:30 a.m., according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records. He is on felony probation or Post Release Community Supervision under AB 109 of 2011, also known as prison realignment, following drug-related convictions.
At least one civilian car was also run off the roadway during the chase, Lt. Andy Berg of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station said. No injuries were reported to deputies or civilians.
Two deputies were driving in a patrol car at Gillette Road and Dudley Street in Pomona when a blue Chevrolet HHR with no license plates exited the parking lot of a nearby motel, sheriff’s officials said.
The driver, later identified as Mendez, “looked straight at them and drove toward them as if trying to strike them,” Berg said. “He tried to run them off the road.”
The deputy driving the patrol car managed to avoid a collision, turned around and began chasing the SUV.
As the fleeing SUV entered the westbound 10 Freeway, it pulled in front of a civilian car, forcing it off the road, Berg said. Officials were also looking into a report that a second civilian vehicle may have been struck by the suspect’s SUV during the chase.
Mendez continued weaving in and out of traffic as he sped down the 10 Freeway, Berg said. He soon crashed in West Covina.
“Eventually, in his weaving, he lost control. He hit the center divider near Azusa avenue,” the lieutenant said.
Mendez ran across eastbound traffic lanes and tried, but failed, to climb over a sound wall, Berg said.
Deputies chased after Mendez on foot and caught up with him as he was making a second attempt to scale the wall about 100 yards to the west.
Deputies shocked Mendez with a Taser, which disabled him and allowed them to place him in handcuffs without further struggle, Berg said.
Deputies determined Mendez was wanted on a “no bail” warrant due to a violation of parole or probation, Berg said.
After being examined at a hospital, Mendez was expected to be booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, evading police and hit-and-run, as well as the outstanding warrant.