COUNTYWIDE : Police Catch Suspects in 4 Separate Chases

Police around Orange County were kept busy over the weekend with a spate of chases.

* In Westminster, a police officer spotted two men who were believed to be making a drug deal just before 5 p.m. Sunday, but the pair took off in a van and ignored the patrol car’s sirens.

The men led the officer on a chase into Garden Grove, the officer reported. When the suspects finally crashed into a curb, the men took off by foot. Officers finally captured two men identified as Karl Finnila, 27, and John Griffith, 28, both of Garden Grove.

* In Orange, a chase began on the Garden Grove Freeway at 8:24 a.m.


The officers signaled the driver to pull over, but he fled, Sheriff’s Lt. Larry Richey said. After racing eastward for 12 miles at speeds reaching about 75 m.p.h., the driver pulled over near the Glassell Street exit, Richey added.

The suspect, Kenneth Eugene Chapman, 26, address unknown, was arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property, evading arrest and drunk driving.

* In Tustin, a man wanted for questioning in an armed robbery led police on a 15-minute chase through Irvine and El Toro that reached speeds of over 100 m.p.h. on the southbound Santa Ana Freeway around 9 p.m. Saturday.

A motorcyclist and his passenger were thrown from the cycle when they halted to avoid the suspect’s vehicle. They were hospitalized in stable condition.


The suspect, Emil Decoster, 34, of Temecula, was arrested and booked on suspicion of vehicular assault on a police car and other violations.

* And in Mission Viejo, three men led authorities on a 45-minute foot chase off Interstate 5 on Saturday after abandoning a carload of suspected illegal aliens, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Two of the men were caught. But the driver was still at large Sunday.