Prosecutors identified the man as Nolan Perez, 41, who was charged Monday morning with seven felony counts of making criminal threats and stalking a woman between May 19 and Friday. Perez threatened to commit violence that would "result in death and great bodily injury," according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Perez served time in state prison and has convictions that include being a felon in possession of a firearm, negligently discharging a firearm and corporal injury to a spouse or loved one, court records show. He listed his occupation as a painter, according to booking records.
Authorities said the incident began after Perez was spotted about 10 a.m.outside the woman's home in El Sereno in northeast Los Angeles. Officers with an arrest warrant tried to apprehend Perez, but he fled in a maroon Nissan Altima, according to authorities.
The vehicle raced along the 10 Freeway and made its way to the 101 Freeway and the northbound 110 Freeway. The suspect eventually drove onto northbound Interstate 5 near downtown, with Los Angeles police and California Highway Patrol cars in pursuit. The suspect pointed what was believed to be a high-powered AR-15 rifle at officers, the LAPD said.
The man jumped out of the car about 11:30 a.m. and started running through a neighborhood that residents describe as a normally quiet place.
April Gutierrez, 47, lives about half a mile from where police blocked traffic at Magnolia Boulevard. She said she was at North Hollywood Park with her dog moments before she heard police sirens. Then, she said, someone with a bullhorn yelled, "He's got a gun!"
Tamrah Land, 22, said she was pedaling her scooter to the park when she noticed helicopters hovering near the 170 Freeway at Magnolia Boulevard. She later said she wasn't surprised that an armed man was seen running in the area.
"I don't feel scared," Land said. "That says something about our society."
But another woman who lives on Hartsook Street said in a phone interview that she feared for her safety and stayed inside her home as the suspect barricaded himself in the house across the street.
"It's really scary," the woman said.
Franklin Hanock, 80, who has lived on Hartsook for 53 years, said he was ready to protect himself.
"We are prepared for things that are going on," he said, "and we are armed if necessary."