Calif. man rams police cruiser, carjacks several vehicles during pursuit

At one point, the suspect ran through a neighborhood, evading police before breaking into a home and stealing keys to a truck


By Gregory Yee
Los Angeles Times

FULLERTON, Calif. — One person was in custody after a high-speed chase involving three different vehicles from Orange County to Los Angeles County that ended Wednesday night when sheriff's deputies opened fire at a gas station in Hacienda Heights.

Around 4:45 p.m., officers saw the driver of a black Honda Civic commit traffic violations near Auto Center Drive and the 5 Freeway in Fullerton, said Capt. Jon Radus, a Fullerton Police Department spokesperson.

The driver sped off and a chase over surface streets continued into Anaheim, where the driver got on and off the 91 Freeway at least once, Radus said.

Officers lost sight of the Civic before finding it in Anaheim, where the driver entered an apartment complex and somehow got hold of a white van, he said. Radus did not know whether the driver broke into the van, carjacked someone or obtained the vehicle by other means.

The pursuit crossed into L.A. County, Radus said, and after the van became disabled or locked, the driver rammed a police vehicle before fleeing on foot.

The suspect ran into a residence and stole a white Chevrolet pickup truck before fleeing again, Radus said.

At that point, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department took over the pursuit.

During the chase, the driver was speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road and ramming into other vehicles, Radus said.

The chase ended in the 1000 block of Hacienda Boulevard, according to the Sheriff's Department.

The suspect hit another vehicle and was rammed by a law enforcement officer's vehicle before driving into a gas station, where the driver hit a pump and reversed, according to KCBS-TV Channel 2.

At some point, deputies opened fire on the suspect, according to the Sheriff's Department. Information on whether the suspect was struck wasn't immediately available.

A brief standoff ensued, according to the news station. Deputies approached the suspect with ballistic shields before detaining the person.

A bystander told KCAL-TV Channel 9 that he was injured and detained by deputies during the incident.

Adrian Cruz said he was stopped at a traffic signal in Hacienda Heights when the pursuit suspect bumped into his sedan before a law enforcement vehicle pushed the pickup truck farther into his car, according to the news station.

"Cruz exited his car and walked around before going back into the driver's side door," the news station reported. "Deputies proceeded to swarm him, take him to the ground and detain him."

A Sheriff's Department spokesperson told KCAL that deputies detained Cruz because he refused to get out of the line of fire.

Cruz told the news station that he was trying to get his family out of the car and keep them safe. He described the encounter as violent, saying the deputies "attacked" him in front of his family and handcuffed him.

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