Man Who Drives Wrong Way on Freeway Arrested in Auto Theft

A 30-year-old man suspected of auto theft led police on a wild chase Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 5, trying to escape by driving into oncoming traffic.

Nobody was hurt, and no accidents occurred, police said.

The incident began about 1:30 p.m. when an Irvine police officer spotted Juan Lopez Herrera, of Jalisco, Mexico, driving a 1987 Isuzu Trooper that had been reported stolen.

The officer, along with Orange County sheriff's deputies, followed the suspect as he entered the northbound I-5 from Crown Valley Parkway heading south on the dirt shoulder.

Herrera exited at Ortega Highway, where he drove across an overpass and re-entered the freeway going north in the southbound lanes, police said.

After about 200 yards, Herrera was boxed in by traffic and abandoned the vehicle, fleeing on foot. Sheriff's deputies captured him a short time later at San Juan School, 31642 El Camino Lane. He was booked on suspicion of auto theft.

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