Couple Seen Embracing After Montebello U-Haul Pursuit Charged With Fleeing Police

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A man and woman have been hit with charges stemming from a lengthy police pursuit that ended when the woman crashed the stolen U-Haul pickup she was driving into another truck in Montebello, officials said Friday.

Trisha Marie Martinez, the vehicle's driver, was charged with five counts, including taking a vehicle without consent, receiving a stolen vehicle, fleeing police, hit-and-run driving and driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with the Wednesday incident, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Her partner, Harold Brian Escobar, faces two counts: receiving a stolen vehicle and fleeing police. He was previously convicted carjacking last year and second-degree burglary in 2010, officials said.

The passenger kisses the driver at the end of a pursuit in Montebello on Jan. 3, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

The passenger kisses the driver at the end of a pursuit in Montebello on Jan. 3, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Prosecutors identified the two as a couple.

Police in Bell Gardens began chasing the two on Wednesday morning after seeing the U-Haul run a stop sign. After checking the license plate number, they realized it was stolen, the DA's office said.

Martinez and Escobar refused to stop when police attempted to pull them over and led them on a pursuit across surface streets and freeways for about an hour and a half.

The chase ended when the U-Haul collided with another truck after driving over a CHP spike strip and losing a tire. However, the pair stayed inside their vehicle for about half an hour, consuming alcohol and narcotics, police previously told KTLA.

When Martinez eventually got out of the car, Escobar was seen following her out the driver's side door. As Martinez tried to hold her hands behind her head, Escobar grabbed her into a bear hug and kissed her on the mouth, aerial video showed.

Martinez tried to push him away, but police soon closed in on them with guns raised and took the two into custody. They were then taken to a hospital and treated for alleged methamphetamine use before being booked, police said.

Both were set to be arraigned on Friday, officials said. Prosecutors requested Martinez's bail to be set at $100,000 and Escobar's at $200,000.

Martinez could face a maximum possible sentence of four years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged, while Escobar could face up to eight years and four months in prison.

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