Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Car. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Car. Photo by John Schreiber.

Two men were in custody Monday after they were caught by a sheriff’s sergeant running away from a burning stolen car on the Artesia (91) Freeway in Bellflower, authorities said.

The sergeant, who works in the LA sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, was driving an unmarked patrol vehicle eastbound on the Artesia Freeway just west of the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, said Dep. Kimberly Alexander of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

“He saw a burning vehicle stopped on the south side emergency lane,” Alexander said. “When the sergeant stopped to render aide, he saw two male adults flee from the burning vehicle, running east along the emergency lane.”

One man ran with a large, nylon carrying sleeve, the deputy said. The man looked in the direction of the sergeant and threw the sleeve to the ground, causing a shotgun to fall out.

The sergeant detained both suspects at gunpoint and they were arrested, Alexander said. An unloaded shotgun was recovered at the scene.

The suspects were identified as 25-year-old Anthony Hernandez and 27- year-old Danny Cruz, both of Hawaiian Gardens and both believed to be gang members, she said, adding that the Honda Civic was confirmed stolen out of the Norwalk area, Alexander said.

Cruz and Hernandez were booked on suspicion of driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent, she said. Cruz was also booked on suspicion of being a convicted felon in possession of a concealed firearm.

Cruz’s bail was set at $35,000, according to sheriff’s inmate records. Hernandez’s bail was set at $26,000. Both are scheduled to appear in a Bellflower court Tuesday.

The sheriff’s department did not immediately reveal what caused the car to catch fire.

—City News Service

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