PanamaTimes

Monday, Apr 15, 2024

Unbelievable: Suspect rams cars, steals van and truck during SoCal pursuit

A man was arrested in the San Gabriel Valley after he led authorities on a dangerous chase in which he stole a van and a truck, and hit several other cars on the road.
A man rammed into sheriff's cruisers, sideswiped cars and stole multiple vehicles during a desperate attempt to get away in a long and dangerous chase through the streets of Los Angeles and Orange counties on Wednesday.

At one point, the suspect was seen ditching one stolen vehicle, and bursting into a family's home to try to hide. The family members and their pets were home and fought with him in the driveway - one even brandishing a knife - after he stole the keys to their utility truck. He smashed through their front gate and took off yet again.

During another dramatic moment, the suspect was pinned in against a gated driveway by a police vehicle. Rather than give up at that point, he hit reverse on the stolen vehicle and smashed into the cruiser again and again, eventually creating enough space for him to swing around and flee again.

The incident lasted nearly an hour and a half and only ended when the stolen utility truck - at least the third vehicle he drove during the chase - crashed at a gas station and was rammed by a sheriff's cruiser. Flames broke out underneath the truck and eventually deputies opened fire into the vehicle. They finally got him out by smashing the windows and taking him into custody.

It all began just before 5 p.m.

AIR7 HD was overhead as authorities were chasing the suspect, speeding erratically in a dark colored-sedan on surface streets in Anaheim.

The suspect tried to steal a pickup truck, but was unable to break into the vehicle and returned to fleeing police in the sedan. He later ditched the car and ran into a townhome complex.

He then stole a white van and became pinned in as a Fullerton police officer parked a cruiser directly behind the van. That's when the suspect reversed and repeatedly rammed the cruiser to create space and escape. The suspect sped away.

The chase continued in the stolen van with the suspect driving erratically on surface streets and sideswiping other cars on the road. Eventually he reached Whittier, where the van lost one of its rear tires.

Sparks began to fly after the wheel came off, and the vehicle became disabled. The suspect then abandoned the van and ran into a residential neighborhood. John Reynolds told Eyewitness News that van was his refrigerated van and has since set up a GoFundMe to help track it down.

The suspect then broke into a home and got into a confrontation with the residents inside. The fight spilled onto the front driveway. One resident was seen being held back by a woman as he tried to confront the man stealing the family's utility truck.

He got into their truck and drove off, nearly striking some of the residents and smashing through their front gate as he fled. Two dogs were almost hit by the truck. Eyewitness News has confirmed the residents and their pets were not seriously injured.

The family says they bought the truck three weeks ago and it's the only one they have for their landscaping business. They set up a GoFundMe page to help buy some tools that were in the truck.

The suspect later lost a front tire on the stolen truck, but he continued to weave through traffic in the Hacienda Heights area. He ran red lights and sideswiped multiple vehicles as he squeezed through traffic.

Eventually he crashed at a gas station near Gale Avenue and Hacienda Boulevard after a deputy's vehicle smashed the truck from behind. The truck became disabled and caught fire underneath. Deputies cautiously approached from the back and used fire extinguishers to put out the flames, generating clouds of smoke, while the suspect was still barricaded inside.

At one point they opened fire into the cab of the truck.

The suspect stayed inside as the barricade continued.

Deputies then broke open the window of the driver's side of the truck and pulled the suspect out to take him into custody just after 6:10 p.m. in the City of Industry.

It did not appear he was seriously injured. He was conscious and did not appear to be bleeding as he walked on his own with deputies escorting him from the scene.

During the incident deputies were also seen grabbing and cuffing another driver near the gas station.

The suspect's identity has not yet been released. He remained in the hospital Thursday morning for injuries he sustained.
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