A 25-year-old man accused of leading deputies on a televised three-hour chase that began in Compton and ended in Corona was charged Monday with 10 criminal counts, including hit-and-run and possession of cocaine for sale.
John Raymond Lopez of Norwalk appeared in a Compton courtroom this afternoon, but his arraignment was postponed until tomorrow. Prosecutors plan to ask for $110,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Lopez is facing two counts of sale of a controlled substance and one count each of possession for sale of cocaine base, possession for sale of a controlled substance, assault with a deadly weapon, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly, taking a vehicle without consent, hit-and-run driving resulting in injury, hit-and-run resulting in property damage and driving with a license suspended or revoked for a DUI conviction.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Lopez was convicted in 2014 of assault on a peace officer or firefighter.
Last Thursday’s chase shut down the Artesia (91) Freeway for several hours beginning about 6:20 p.m. The black Mercedes-Benz could be seen clipping other vehicles while weaving through traffic, mostly at slow speeds.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Century Station received information earlier in the day that the car had been involved in an attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
When deputies spotted the Mercedes-Benz in Compton and tried to make a traffic stop, the driver sped off. The pursuit continued east on the Artesia (91) Freeway, with California Highway Patrol officers taking over.
The Mercedes-Benz’s tires were flattened by spike strips but the suspect, who was also suspected of brandishing a weapon, kept driving. The sleek black vehicle scraped along k-rails and at least one of its wheels seized and sent up sparks from its bare rim before coming to a smoking halt about 7:30 p.m. at Green River Road near the Orange/Riverside county border.
Officers with guns drawn positioned themselves a short distance away and traffic on both sides of the freeway was halted as the standoff continued in Corona.
Around 9:30 p.m., SWAT officers from Anaheim took the suspect into custody, according to reports from the scene.
Lopez is accused of hitting two cars and injuring one of the drivers. Drugs were allegedly found in the car, which had been rented to another person.
If convicted as charged, Lopez faces up to seven years in prison.
— City News Service