2 in Custody After Driver Leads Authorities on Wild 2-Hour Pursuit Through 3 SoCal Counties

The driver of a possibly stolen car who led CHP officers on an hourslong pursuit through multiple Southern California counties on Monday afternoon was taken into custody in Riverside County, as was his passenger, police said.

Anaheim police said on Twitter that CHP has caught "male and female suspects" after the pair ran from the stolen vehicle. Authorities later identified them as Christian Beltran and Cecelia Martinez on Twitter.

The driver was arrested in connection with a number of offenses including felony evading and driving a stolen car, Anaheim police said. The passenger was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, police said.

 

Police initiated the chase just before noon near Harbor Boulevard and the 91 Freeway in Anaheim after the license plates on the black Toyota Camry came back as stolen, according to police spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt. A K-9 handler who was on patrol ran the plate and tried to stop the Camry, but it fled on surface streets, traveling several miles at speeds of more than 100 mph. The car entered the 91 Freeway at Beach Boulevard, Wyatt said.

The California Highway Patrol took over the chase about 12:20 p.m. when the pursuit went into Riverside County.  The chase continued for almost another two hours after that.

At one point the driver, a male, appeared to make signs at authorities and was throwing items from the car, which continued at times going more than 100 mph.

By 12:45 p.m. the driver was going northbound on the 215 Freeway in the San Bernardino area. He eventually transitioned onto the 15 Freeway near the Cajon Pass, then came back southbound on the 15. The driver transitioned onto the eastbound 10 Freeway in Rancho Cucamonga about 1:15 p.m.

Authorities twice attempted a PIT maneuver on the pursuit driver, but the chase continued. (Credit: KTLA)

Authorities twice attempted a PIT maneuver on the pursuit driver, but the chase continued. (Credit: KTLA)

At various points of the chase, aerial footage showed the Camry weaving in and out of traffic, traveling on the wrong side of the road and running red lights.

“He’s all over the place, he’s driving a little erratic, so it’s really dangerous for our officers out there to put down a spike strip,” CHP Officer Ramon Durant.said. “We don’t know the mentality, the state of mind of this driver is right now."

About 1:30 p.m., a CHP officer attempted two PIT maneuvers on Camry once it got off the 215 Freeway in the Riverside area, but the driver was able to get away, aerial video showed.

He eventually pulled over and parked in a residential area in Riverside, but continued eluding authorities, aerial video showed.

Authorities appeared to pull away from the driver on the ground, but were still following him in the air. The driver eventually got back on the westbound 60 before quickly getting back off, aerial video showed.

The driver continued traveling on the wrong side of the road on a surface street in Mira Loma before reaching Jurupa Valley.

Around 2:10 p.m., the driver parked the vehicle on the side of the road, got out of the vehicle and ran through the parking lot next to an industrial building in the 3400 block of Grapevine Street in Jurupa Valley.

The male driver ran from the car and was taken into custody after the Riverside County Sheriff's Office set a perimeter around the building. The driver was under the influence of drugs and was hospitalized for a medical evaluation, Wyatt said.

Meanwhile, a female passenger got out of the Camry and hopped into a "lookie-loo's" vehicle, Wyatt said. The second car, a black Saturn, stopped after about 50 yards away when a freelance news photographer confronted the vehicle, saying he was recording video, the sergeant said.

The female passenger got out of the Saturn and lay down on the pavement until deputies arrived and took her into custody, Wyatt said.  In an email to news media, Wyatt called the freelance photographer his "new personal hero."

After the female passenger got into and out of Saturn, the driver of that car continued traveling away from the scene. About 20 minutes later, the Saturn was stopped by CHP officers who detained questioned a man and a woman who'd been inside the car, aerial video from Sky5 showed. A young child was also removed from the car in a baby carrier.

KTLA's Irving Last, Tracy Bloom, Melissa Pamer and Wes Woods II contributed to this story.