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Reputed Gang Members Arrested After Chase

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two reputed gang members led police and county sheriff’s deputies on an hourlong foot chase Sunday that included a brief episode dodging cars on the Interstate 5 freeway before they were arrested on suspicion of auto theft.

Trayzion A. Fermon, 19, and Tyrice Smith, 20, were booked in San Clemente for possession of stolen property, Police Sgt. Nelda Gonzalez said.

Fermon was also charged with possession of drugs after two rocks of cocaine were found on him during a booking search, Gonzalez said. An unloaded .357-caliber handgun was also found, she said.

At about 2:15 p.m., the two men, believed by police to be members of the Los Angeles branch of the East Coast Crips, allegedly commandeered a pickup truck from a woman in Oceanside. One of them brandished a handgun, Gonzalez said.

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As they drove away in the truck, several of the victim’s friends followed, stopping at the Border Patrol checkpoint to inform officials there of the robbery, Gonzalez said. The Border Patrol in turn called San Clemente police, who dispatched officers to find the men.

Officers trailed them into a grocery store parking lot off the Interstate 5 at Camino de Estrella, but when the officers turned on their flashing lights, the two men speeded up, smashed into a car and leaped from the truck. The suspects then ran down an embankment and over the freeway with officers chasing them, Gonzalez said.

As the suspects ran into Dana Point, the Sheriff’s Department was notified, and it dispatched a helicopter and half a dozen deputies.

With the aid of a police dog, the two men were found hiding behind homes in Dana Point, about 50 yards apart.

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Oceanside police were expected to charge the pair with robbery and grand theft auto, Gonzalez said.


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