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30-Minute Car Chase Ends With Arrest

TIMES STAFF WRITER

After leading police on a chase down Coast Highway in a pouring rain Tuesday, a San Juan Capistrano woman was apprehended by authorities as her twin 2 1/2-year-old daughters looked on.

Ten patrol cars from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department converged on Tammy Michelle Losee, 31, who was arrested shortly after 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Marguerita Avenue and Dana Strand Road, which overlooks the southern end of Dana Point Harbor.

Authorities said she was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for having intentionally rammed two cars--damaging them and a third vehicle--at the intersection of Avocado Avenue and Coast Highway in Newport Beach when the chase began about 10 a.m.

Losee also faces charges of child endangerment for having subjected her daughters, neither of whom was wearing a seat belt, to the peril of a high-speed chase during a rainstorm, according to Sgt. Andy Gonis of the Newport Beach Police Department.

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She reached estimated speeds of 70 m.p.h. during the 30-minute pursuit, authorities said.

The two girls were taken into custody and will remain at the Orangewood Children’s Home until further notice, Gonis said.

Losee, whose car had been under surveillance by a law enforcement helicopter for allegedly speeding, “intentionally rammed the car in front of her and one to the side, just to create a pocket through which she could pass,” Gonis said.

Besides the two vehicles Losee struck, Gonis said that a third sustained damage when the car to the right of Losee’s was knocked into an adjacent lane. The motorists escaped injury.

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Police on the ground began pursuing Losee in South Laguna and into Dana Point, where she got out of her car and was ultimately captured by sheriff’s deputies. She was returned to Newport Beach authorities, who booked Losee into Orange County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Gonis said investigators are seeking a possible motive for the chain of events.


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