Police Pursuit Through Two Towns Leads to Arrest

A suspect who police said led San Marino officers on a brief high-speed pursuit through town last week was free on bail and awaiting a court appearance.
The 27-year-old San Gabriel man was arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 28, after abandoning his vehicle, fleeing into an alleyway that was fenced off and then surrendering to officers, accor-ding to a news release from the San Marino Police Department. He was booked into the Alhambra jail on suspicion of evading a police officer, reckless driving, driving under the influence and resisting arrest.
According to the SMPD, an officer tried pulling the suspect over at 8:48 that evening after seeing him speeding and running a stop sign in the 2300 block of Roanoke Road. The suspect did not stop and continued to speed away, running stop signs and red lights and at one point driving on the wrong side of the road, the department said.
“That’s the tough part with pursuits,” Police Chief John Incontro said. “We can’t control where the driver goes.”
In pursuing a suspect, Incontro said, officers are required to consider three points: whether the pursuit is safe for the community, safe for the suspect and safe for the officers involved. Outside factors in that decision include weather conditions, the time of day, traffic congestion and the availability of a helicopter to track the fleeing suspect.
State law requires officers to be trained annually on pursuit technique. Incontro pointed out that most officers will not begin a chase for a simple traffic or vehicle code violation, but things change if there is a compounding act.
“Here we had something more with a DUI,” he added. “You always have to balance the safety of the community versus the importance of continuing the pursuit.”
The suspect led police on what they said was a three-minute chase that
covered nearly three miles of San Marino and San Gabriel streets before he stopped at San Gabriel Boulevard and Hermosa Drive in San Gabriel. The suspect ran from his vehicle, SMPD said, and trapped himself between a church and neighboring business that had a chain-link fence blocking his path.
After arresting him, officers noted the suspect showed signs of intoxication, and although he admitted he had consumed alcoholic beverages, he refused sobriety tests, the department said. Incontro said suspects can refuse sobriety tests after being arrested, but that would likely factor into their trial and possible penalties.
After bailing out of jail, the suspect in last week’s pursuit awaits arraignment.

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