Two robbery suspects that allegedly led police on a high-speed pursuit that left downtown Los Angeles in a “complete mess” last year pleaded no contest to several charges this week, officials said Tuesday.
One of the defendants, Christian Manuel Cuevas, 36, of Las Vegas, pleaded to one count of robbery and admitted that he used a firearm during the robbery. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The other defendant, Enrique Edward Rogelio, 31, of Highland Park, pleaded to one count of fleeing an officer while driving recklessly. He was sentenced to two years in prison and waived his credits for eight months he had already served, officials said.
The incident on Nov. 27 began when the two men went into an auto repair shop in Highland Park and asked to buy a car battery. The men instead took the battery without paying for it and Cuevas pointed a gun at the worker.
LAPD was alerted and officers spotted the suspect SUV pulling into a gas station. When officers tried to detain the men, they sped off, leading police on a pursuit on the 210, 5 and 101 freeways and through downtown L.A. officials said.
The men were seen throwing items out of the SUV and spent the better part of an hour circling downtown streets, barely avoiding crashing into pedestrians and other vehicles, video from Sky5 from the pursuit showed.
One witness told KTLA that “half of downtown was completely a mess.”
The men eventually crashed into a bus bench at Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park. They tried to run from the scene, but were eventually apprehended by officers.