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Loaded AR-15 found in vehicle after chase and hit-and-run crash in Costa Mesa, police say; suspect arrested

Arthur Barajas Jr., 24, of Anaheim was arrested early Wednesday after a vehicle chase and hit-and-run led to a foot pursuit in Costa Mesa, police said.
(Costa Mesa Police Department)

A man was arrested early Wednesday in Costa Mesa after an attempted traffic stop turned into a vehicle pursuit that resulted in a hit-and-run crash, police said.

Officers tried to stop a vehicle on a code violation shortly after 2 a.m., according to the Costa Mesa Police Department.

“The driver refused to stop and attempted to evade officers,” police spokeswoman Roxi Fyad said.

The driver “seemed as if he had something in his possession,” though the object was concealed from officers, Fyad said.


During the pursuit, the driver struck a utility pole near the intersection of Fairview Road and Wilson Street and fled the vehicle on foot, police said.

Officers found a loaded AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on the front seat, according to police.

Police found a man hiding on the patio of an apartment in the 200 block of Avocado Street, Fyad said. An Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter crew and a Huntington Beach Police Department K-9 unit assisted, police said.

When the man did not surrender, the police dog was deployed, Fyad said.


The man was arrested and treated for bite marks and a broken arm before being taken to a hospital, police said.

Arthur Barajas Jr., 24, of Anaheim was booked into Orange County Jail on suspicion of evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety, carrying a stolen firearm, carrying a loaded firearm with a prior felony conviction, violating probation, hit-and-run by a runaway vehicle with property damage, failure to stop and obstructing a peace officer, police said.

Barajas is on probation in connection with a felony count of possessing a controlled substance in jail, according to public records. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in October to a year’s probation. Further information was not immediately available.

He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, according to jail records.

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This article was originally published at 6:40 p.m. and was updated with additional information.