Man attacks In-N-Out janitor, then steals patrol car, Pasadena police say

A 52-year-old man stole a Pasadena police cruiser and led officers on a brief pursuit Monday night after threatening to kill people at an In-N-Out restaurant, officials said.

Joel Soto, of Shafter, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats, grand theft auto, felony vandalism and felony evading, according to the Pasadena Police Department.

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The drama unfolded about 9:47 p.m. in the 2200 block of East Foothill Boulevard, when Soto threatened an In-N-Out employee and customers and assaulted a janitor with a fire extinguisher and threatened to kill him, police said.

After threatening the janitor, Soto smashed a glass door with the extinguisher and threatened to kill another janitor inside the restaurant, according to police.

That’s when Pasadena police arrived, confronted Soto and asked him to drop the extinguisher. Soto refused, so an officer used an unspecified less-lethal weapon.

The weapon had a minimal impact on Soto, who then was somehow able to steal a police cruiser, officials said.

He led police on a 12-minute chase on eight miles of Pasadena streets.

Then finally at the intersection of Lake Avenue and Claremont Street, a Pasadena police cruiser intentionally crashed into Soto.

Soto climbed out of the driver’s side window and on to the top of police cruiser, according to the Police Department.

Officers struck Soto with a Taser. Soto then jumped off the car's roof and landed on his feet.

He was immediately taken into custody and taken to an area hospital. His injuries were not life threatening, police said.

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