A Camarillo man under investigation in a Los Angeles-area rape case involving an underage victim led officers Wednesday on a chase that ended with his self-induced poisoning death on the 101 Freeway in Ventura, authorities said.
California Highway Patrol officers were contacted by a representative of the Los Angeles Police Department who said the suspect was in the Camarillo area Wednesday morning and was driving a black Nissan Versa, according to a CHP spokesman.
Officers chased the Versa onto the northbound 101, where it crossed all lanes of the freeway near Seaward Avenue and came to a stop against the center divider about 8:30 a.m. Officers then found the man dead in the car, said CHP Officer Kevin Denharder.
The LAPD identified the suspect as Jonathan Hanks, 33, who was wanted for allegedly raping an underage girl on Feb. 4 in the West San Fernando Valley area.
CHP Investigator Christopher Terry told reporters at the scene that the man apparently drank a liquid poison while driving.
“We got calls that he was going to commit suicide,” Terry said. “As it got near Seaward (Avenue), our primary pursuit officer saw indications … of the gentleman drinking something and then slumping over to the right side of his car. The car slowed down, and then veered all the way over to the left, where it grinded to a halt against the center divider wall.”
Terry said the liquid “tested positive for sodium chloride and potassium cyanide.”
Officers had to break a window to gain access to the suspect.
–City News Service
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