By Mary O’KEEFE
Theodore Norman Walton, 46, pled not guilty to charges of felony evading and unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle during a Tuesday arraignment in Los Angeles Superior Court, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for L.A. County district attorney.
Walton was arrested after he led LAPD officers on a car chase that began on College View Avenue off Colorado Boulevard in Los Angeles and sped through Montrose, ending in a cul-de-sac in La Cañada just off Ocean View Boulevard Saturday night about 9 p.m.
The chase began after an LAPD patrol unit received a call about a man, later identified as Walton, sleeping in an old model Cadillac on College View Avenue.
“We ran [the plates] and it came back as a stolen vehicle,” said Sgt. Douglas Bowler, LAPD, at the scene of the arrest.
The officer called for additional units and as they arrived and were getting in position the suspect drove off.
The suspect refused to pull over for officers and fled in his vehicle along surface streets toward Montrose.
Montrose residents Darlene Fleming and her finance Joshua Weiss had finished dinner at a restaurant on Honolulu Avenue and were heading home when they saw the commotion.
“As we pulled into our driveway [on Ocean View Boulevard and Montrose Avenue] we saw police cars racing up the street,” Fleming said.
The suspect, followed by the police units with sirens blaring, continued northbound on Ocean View Boulevard.
“We got in the house and [police] cars continued to race up the street. Then we noticed the helicopter,” Fleming added.
She and Weiss got back into their vehicle and drove up Ocean View to see what was going on.
Many people were watching, camera phones and iPods in hand, as the police chase ended at Ocean View Boulevard and Saranne Street in La Cañada.
Nick Lupica and Ryan Insalaco saw the chase while they were traveling on Verdugo Road.
“We saw the lights and stopped. The cops go speeding [chasing the white car] with something dragging behind it, like a cart,” Lupica said
“I saw an old white Cadillac coming up the street followed by cop cars traveling really fast,” said Martin Vardanyan, who was at a friend’s house near Saranne Street.
The suspect, heading north on Ocean View, turned east onto Saranne Street, a cul-de-sac.
“I heard two gunshots,” Vardanyan said.
Several witnesses reported hearing gunfire.
“It was a bean bag [gun]. It was non-lethal,” Bowler said.
Once police had the vehicle stopped, the suspect refused to exit the vehicle. Police used a gun that fired beanbags into the vehicle, shattering a window.
After the window was shattered it was easier for the police to speak with the suspect but he “was still hesitant” to leave his car, Bowler said.
Eventually he got out of his vehicle but would not comply with officers’ orders to get on the ground.
“We assisted him to the ground and he was still combative,” Bowler said.
Witnesses reported a K-9 unit as well as several officers appeared to help take the suspect into custody. The suspect seemed to be disoriented as officers handcuffed him and walked him to a waiting police unit.
Several neighbors spoke of a party that occurred in the neighborhood earlier in the day and thought Walton had been present.
Bowler said at the time of his arrest they had no information on whether the suspect had been in the area earlier.
Glendale Police Department and Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s assisted LAPD.
Walton is being held without bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 27.