Sex assault suspect arrested after leaping off freeway overpass

A man accused of sexual assault led Huntington Beach police on a car chase along the 605 Freeway before leaping off an overpass in the hopes of escaping, authorities said.

The man, who was the subject of a sexual assault investigation launched by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was located by Huntington Beach police officers on Thursday afternoon, according to a news release issued by the sheriff’s department.

As officers approached, the man got into his vehicle and sped off, authorities said. Both of his children were in the car, they said.

The man led police on a chase along the 605 Freeway for several minutes before crashing near the 105 Freeway interchange near Norwalk, authorities said. The man then exited his vehicle and took off running before leaping from the freeway overpass, they said.

He was arrested immediately and suffered serious injuries as a result of the fall, according to the sheriff’s department. His two children suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

A woman reported the sexual assault allegation to members of the sheriff’s department’s Lakewood Station on Wednesday, authorities said. Formal charges were pending.

The chase was one of several in a week of wild police pursuits in Southern California. Earlier on Thursday, a woman driving a stolen U-Haul van while apparently singing or screaming to herself led Los Angeles police officers on a 30-minute chase and slammed into a police cruiser before she was arrested in a downtown produce market.

james.queally@latimes.com

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
58°