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3 Arrested After Crashes End Car Chase; 2 Hurt

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Police on Tuesday arrested a man and two juveniles who led them on a high-speed chase--which ended when they slammed into a car carrying two young women, roared across traffic lanes and smashed into a bus stop bench, narrowly missing two people standing in front of it.

The chase began about 7:15 p.m. near Roscoe Boulevard and the California 170 portion of the Hollywood Freeway, when anti-gang officers spotted a 1982 Oldsmobile that had been reported stolen. Police said they ordered the driver to stop but that he took off instead. As the auto headed north on Glenoaks Boulevard, it struck a red compact car that was entering the intersection.

Victor and Dionely Vizcarra, both 21, were standing near the bus bench with their bicycles and scrambled for safety as the car came speeding toward them.

“I didn’t think of anything at the time, I just jumped off the bike and started running,” said Victor Vizcarra.

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After crashing into the bus bench, the suspects surrendered to police.

Two male juveniles and a man were taken into custody.

Two women in the car hit by the suspects suffered back and neck injuries and were taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, police said. They were treated and released.

Police defended their decision to chase the suspects.

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“We always take citizen safety into consideration when we pursue anyone,” said Jason Lee, public information officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. “But if a suspect breaks any of the laws in the penal code or the vehicle code, we have to chase them down. That’s our job.”

The LAPD takes many things into consideration before engaging in a pursuit, Lee said, including whether children may be on the street after school and the nature of the crime.

He said that auto theft, a felony, meets the standard for conducting a chase.


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