A 28-year-old man wanted in connection with the death of a woman during a South Los Angeles takeover on Christmas Day has been arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico, police announced Tuesday.
Dante Chapple Young was arrested last week and is awaiting extradition back to Los Angeles. The Orange County native faces a murder charge, while two other people involved in the death of 24-year-old Elyzza Guajaca remain at large.
The deadly incident occurred around 9 p.m. Dec. 25 during a large street takeover at the intersection of Florence Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard.
Three vehicles were speeding and doing donuts when Young, who was driving a black Chevrolet Camaro, lost control after hitting a tow truck being used to block the street and eventually crashed into a crowd standing on the sidewalk.
Young was then seen on video getting out of the car, getting into a scuffle with the crowd and running away, authorities said.
The impact from the crash left Guajaca pinned between a light pole and the Camaro. She was taken to a hospital and later died from her injuries.
Loved ones described her as being the peacemaker of the family. She liked softball and was going to nursing school.
“My daughter was a beautiful soul. She had a heart of gold, and we will truly miss her,” the victim’s mother, Lorraine Guajaca, said Tuesday.
The tow truck and the Camaro were eventually located, and authorities are still searching for the drivers of a gray Infiniti and a white car who were doing donuts at the time.
Police believe six to seven more people may have also been injured that night, but they have not come forward.
Authorities were able to identify and apprehend Young largely in part to video evidence and tips from the public, including from people involved in “street racing culture,” Los Angeles Police Detective Ryan Moreno detailed at a news conference Tuesday.
He said the investigation led detectives from all over Southern California to Arizona and eventually New Mexico, comparing Young’s ability to elude police to something out of a movie and “a game of chess.”
“A case like this, there are no winners,” Moreno said. “Two families are torn apart after what happened.”
Guajaca’s family thanked authorities for apprehending Young, and asked for the outstanding suspects to turn themselves in.
LAPD Deputy Chief Donald Graham said that street racing has evolved into a bigger problem and that “laws have not evolved with it.”
The department, along with other city leaders, has discussed approaching the California Legislature to better define street racing and the consequences of crimes associated with them.
Graham said having the ability to seize and eventually crush vehicles belonging to serial street racing offenders could give real monetary consequences to those crimes.
“I think that the idea of taking away the vehicle, taking away the ability of the people to do harm — rather than simply just trying to increase the penalty on what is generally a young person’s bad decision — won’t affect them for the rest of their lives,” Graham said.