High-speed chase suspect charged, could face nearly 28 years in prison

High-speed chase suspect charged, could face nearly 28 years in prison

The man who authorities say led police on a dangerous high-speed chase across southeast Los Angeles and neighboring cities was charged Wednesday with five felonies, including carjacking.

Aaron Lorta, 29, was charged with one count of carjacking, three counts of attempted carjacking and one count of fleeing a police officer while driving recklessly, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

If convicted on all counts, he faces nearly 28 years in state prison.

Lorta remains hospitalized at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after undergoing surgery for several gunshot wounds. His arraignment hasn’t been scheduled, but prosecutors are asking that he be held on $615,000 bail.

Officers tried to stop Lorta about 5:15 p.m. Monday in Boyle Heights after police noticed he was driving a vehicle reported stolen, but Lorta continued driving through downtown Los Angeles.

At the intersection of Imperial Highway and Garfield Avenue in South Gate, police said he crashed into a car, got out and stole another car after confronting the driver at gunpoint.

Lorta headed west on the 105 Freeway and north on the 710 Freeway, driving erratically and striking several vehicles, police said. He continued on the 60 Freeway and exited in Montebello, where the car was trapped in heavy traffic. He abandoned the vehicle and led about a dozen officers on a foot chase.

As he tried to carjack two more drivers, officers opened fire on him, prosecutors said.

Records show that Lorta was released from state prison in July 2013 after an attempted-robbery conviction two months earlier.

The year before, he was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, according to court records. He has previous convictions for vandalism, interfering with a business, domestic battery and grand theft stretching back to 2007.

Times staff writers Richard Winton and Veronica Rocha contributed to this report.

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