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.
FULL STORY WITH PHOTOS, VIDEO
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.
… FULL STORY WITH PHOTOS, VIDEO
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.
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.
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.
SAN DIMAS >> Two theft suspects led authorities on a chase from San Dimas to Upland before deputies arrested one of the men with help from an armed resident Thursday, officials said.
The incident began about 6:30 p.m. when two men snatched two Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge cell phones from a T-Mobile Store, 738 West Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said. They fled in a car, which deputies soon spotted nearby on the 210 Freeway.
Deputies tried to pull over the car when it exited the freeway in Upland, kicking off a pursuit, she said.
The driver stopped the car and fled on foot in the area of 18th Street and Wilson Avenue, according to the lieutenant. The passenger took the wheel of the car and continued driving.
Deputies, aided by a helicopter overhead, set up a search perimeter in the area, Edwards said. As they closed in on the hiding suspect, he bolted.
An armed resident helped deputies stop and detain the fleeing suspect, she said.
Dajuan Robinson, 30, of San Bernardino was booked on suspicion of grand theft evading police, Edwards said.
The car and the second suspect were not found.
Police recovered the stolen cell phones near the spot where Robinson jumped from the car, Edwards added.
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.