Santa Clarita Man Arrested After High-Speed Pursuit

A Santa Clarita man was arrested Monday morning after a high-speed pursuit on the 101 Freeway and then San Fernando Valley streets. He faces felony charges in conjunction with the incident.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), it began at about 8:30am in Agoura Hills when a CHP officer attempted to pull over a black 2014 Ford Explorer that was speeding as the driver headed east on the 101 near Reyes Adobe Road. Rather than pulling over and stopping the vehicle, the driver allegedly began driving recklessly and evading the officer.

The officer began pursuing the driver, and a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter and additional CHP units joined the pursuit. The CHP also said that the driver attempted to run over an officer with his vehicle, but that the officer escaped unharmed.

During the pursuit, which lasted until about 9:20am, the driver exited and reentered the freeway a number of times and allegedly sped through city streets and recklessly drove through traffic. About 20 police and CHP units were involved in the pursuit in all, and it finally ended when the Explorer was involved in a collision with 2 other vehicles on Reseda Boulevard near the 101 off-ramp.

No injuries were reported in the collision or pursuit.

The 40-year-old driver was taken into custody and was booked at Van Nuys jail. He faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, felony evading and reckless driving. He was also wanted on two outstanding warrants, one for assault with a deadly weapon.

The outcome of these charges and any criminal case against the suspect remains to be seen, but he could face multiple years in state prison if convicted of all charges.

This case brings up a good point related to outstanding warrants and their impact on traffic stops. If a driver is pulled over, even for a minor traffic violation, the CHP or police officer who pulls the driver over may run his license and registration, which could then reveal whether there are any outstanding warrants out for the driver's arrest. The discovery of a warrant may result in the driver's immediate arrest.

As Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, we at Lessem & Newstat can offer guidance in addressing outstanding warrants before such an issue escalates to a roadside arrest or other serious situation. With a warrant, you need to take a proactive approach and will likely need to go into court (of your own volition) to handle the issue. It is far worse to try to ignore a warrant.

For insight regarding warrants and also criminal charges relating to evading a police officer, assault and reckless driving, call our offices for a confidential case review.