Fully Loaded Rifle Found Inside Vehicle, Suspect Arrested After Pursuit Ends in Crash in Costa Mesa

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Authorities discovered a fully loaded AR-15 rifle inside a vehicle fleeing from officers when the chase ended in a crash in Costa Mesa Wednesday.

Arthur Barajas Jr., 24, is seen in a photo released by the Costa Mesa Police Department on May 1, 2019.
Arthur Barajas Jr., 24, is seen in a photo released by the Costa Mesa Police Department on May 1, 2019.

Arthur Barajas Jr. of Anaheim was arrested after running out of the vehicle when it smashed into a phone pole near Wilson Street and Fairview Road, police said. He allegedly led officers on a slow-speed chase beginning around 2 a.m. after they tried pulling him over for a vehicle code violation which police have not specified.

The rifle was found in the front seat of the vehicle he was driving, police said.

Barajas, 24, was later found on an apartment patio in the 200 block of Avocado Street but refused to surrender and tried concealing himself, according to police.

Authorities deployed a Huntington Beach Police Department K-9 who bit Barajas and held on when he tried fighting the dog off, police said. Barajas was taken into custody and treated at a nearby hospital for bite marks and a broken arm.

Police said he is on probation and was booked on suspicion of evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety, hit-and-run by a runaway vehicle with property damage, failure to stop, carrying a stolen firearm, carrying a loaded firearm with a prior felony conviction, probation violation,  revocation of post-release community supervision and obstructing a peace officer.

Inmate records do not provide a bail amount.

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