On Monday, August 10, at about 9:27 a.m., Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department Deputies from Santa Clarita Valley Station attempted to stop a white Ford box van, driving erratically near Magic Mountain on southbound Golden State (I-5) freeway. The deputies ran a check on the license plate, which revealed the vehicle was stolen out of Lemoore, California and a pursuit ensued.
The Sheriff’s Department requested California Highway Patrol assistance, and shortly after the CHP took over the pursuit. The chase continued on the southbound I-5 through multiple CHP areas at speeds up to 80 mph. The suspect driver made multiple rapid unsafe lanes changes in an attempt to evade officers. As the suspect’s vehicle approached stopped traffic at the southbound I-5 south of the I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway), the vehicle abruptly swerved onto a dirt shoulder. The vehicle continued on the dirt shoulder colliding into a concrete barrier wall. The force of the collision pushed the concrete wall into opposing traffic lanes of the transition road. The suspect fled from the stolen vehicle on foot across two lanes of traffic on the transition road, continuing up the dirt embankment and into a residential neighborhood of Boyle Heights. CHP officers gave chase as the suspect attempted to camouflage himself between trash cans. The suspect was subsequently taken into custody without further incident and without injuries.
Cal-Trans responded to the scene to repair and move the damaged section of concrete barrier from the roadway. Officers conducted an inventory of the stolen van and found approximately 1,650 gallons of stolen diesel fuel contained within 5 large marked containers, with value of over 5,000 dollars.
The driver was identified as 27-year-old Jose Ramirez from Pacoima. He was booked into L.AP.D.’s Metropolitan Detention Center on charges ranging from evading a police officer and unlawful taking/driving of a vehicle to Grand Theft.
Every single pursuit is carefully considered as conditions change. CHP officers are extensively trained to terminate each pursuit in the safest manner possible. As a Department, we constantly evaluate the risk versus gain of pursuing and apprehending a fleeing vehicle always keeping in mind the priority of public safety.