Police safely recovered two small girls after a wild chase through the San Gabriel Valley late Friday that resulted in the arrests of two gang members, including a federal fugitive, and a woman who tried to use her own car to interfere with the pursuit, police said.
It began about 10:35 p.m. when an Azusa Police Department officer spotted two suspicious vehicles and tried to pull one of them over, Azusa police officials said. The car led officers on a chase on several area freeways that passed through South El Monte, El Monte, Irwindale and Glendora before circling back to Azusa.
Police identified the driver of the fleeing vehicle early in the chase as 21-year-old Jose Magdaleno of Glendora, police said in a written statement.
“Magdaleno was wanted on a federal arrest warrant and was also considered armed and dangerous,” the statement said.
The federal warrant was related to firearm violation case, Azusa police Sgt. Seth Chapman said.
A passenger jumped out of the car and tossed a gun as the pursuit began, police said. The passenger, 26-year-old Manuel Jimenez of Azusa, was quickly taken into custody and was expected to face charges of evading police and weapon possession.
Sky5 was overhead as the chase sped through the San Gabriel Valley, with a half-dozen police SUV’s in pursuit.
Madgaleno ultimately stopped his car and surrendered to police just after 11:10 p.m. at 9th Street and Alameda Avenue in Azusa, authorities said.
He was booked for the outstanding federal warrant and is also accused of evading police and child endangerment, Chapman said. Officers discovered he had two girls, both toddlers, in the car with him during the chase.
A woman driving a second car was also arrested on suspicion obstructing or delaying police after she allegedly used her own car to drive recklessly around the pursuing police vehicles toward the end of the pursuit in order to interfere with the chase. The woman, identified as Lupita Torres, 43, of Azusa is an associate of the other two suspects.
Both Magaleno and Jiminez are “documented” local gang members, the police statement said.
Bail for Magdaleno has been set at $100,000 pending his initial court appearance, while Jimenez’s bail was $35,000, according to Los Angeles County booking records. Torres was released from custody Saturday with a citation.