By Mary O’KEEFE
On Monday in Pasadena Superior Court, Bryan Mackey, 33, of Glendale pled not guilty to charges brought against him after a Halloween early morning pursuit that led law enforcement from Sun Valley to La Crescenta, on and off the Foothill (210) Freeway and weaving in and out of traffic, past schools and through normally quiet neighborhood streets.
Mackey was charged with robbery, false imprisonment, criminal threats, grand theft auto, felony evading and sexual battery. (Note that this is not the same as sexual assault.)
The charges stem from an incident in a dental office that Mackey allegedly entered on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
“He went into this [dental office] where he knew people,” said Det. Rodger Burt of Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. “He [allegedly] robbed the dentist and two [female] individuals. He held them hostage for many hours.”
He reportedly told his victims he had a gun; however, no weapon was ever seen, said Dep. Randy Forney.
The two women were finally able to escape through a back door of the office and called the Los Angeles County Sheriffs. The sheriffs responded but Mackey was no longer at the office. He had allegedly stolen a vehicle belonging to one of the women at the office.
During the robbery Mackey did not hurt anyone.
“There were no injuries or rape,” Burt said.
Law enforcement looked for the vehicle and Mackey all night. He was located once in L.A. but evaded law enforcement. Then on Oct. 31 they found him again.
“He was located in Sun Valley,” Burt said. “They found him and the pursuit was on.”
The pursuit that began in the morning about 7:30 a.m. went from Sun Valley to La Crescenta and ended in Tujunga. Along the way Mackey drove erratically including driving down the wrong side of Foothill Boulevard. Mackey went on and off the Foothill (210) Freeway as well.
Glendale police, California Highway Patrol and air support from Pasadena and L.A. assisted LA Sheriff’s Dept. as Mackey continued to drive at a high rate of speed.
“The guy was everywhere,” Forney said.
CV Sheriff’s Station personnel put Crescenta Valley area schools in lock- down as the pursuit continued. At one point, patrol vehicles raced past CV High School.
As the pursuit continued and became more dangerous as the streets filled with students walking and driving to school, sheriffs called off the pursuit on the ground and let air support take over surveillance.
Mackey drove back onto the Foothill freeway and when he exited in Tujunga, CHP restarted the pursuit. After performing a PIT (precision immobilization technique), the vehicle stopped and Mackey was taken into custody.
The suspect has been arrested before by other agencies, mostly stemming from drug charges, and he has served time in prison in the past.
Mackey is being held on a $1.6 million bail. His next appearance is on Nov. 18 in Pasadena Superior Court.