A 51-year-old parolee and “self-admitted gang member” who police say was at the wheel of a stolen utility truck that violently broadsided an SUV in Pasadena at the end of a roughly hour-long chase from Bell Gardens was being held without bail Friday.

Bell Gardens police identified him as Fernando Octavio Frenes of Montebello.

Officers were dispatched about 4:10 p.m. Thursday to the area of Eastern and Gage avenues to investigate a report of a stolen white Chevrolet Silverado, whose owner was tracking the vehicle with a GPS system, police said.

Officers located the vehicle in the 6300 block of Gage Avenue and tried to pull it over, but the driver wouldn’t comply, leading to a chase through Bell Gardens, Commerce, Montebello, Pico Rivera, East Los Angeles and Monterey Park, police said.

Safety concerns prompted Bell Gardens police to break off the chase about 4:50 p.m., but an assisting Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter unit continued tracking the truck, which was driven erratically on city streets, highways and freeways in Los Angeles, Alhambra, South Pasadena and Pasadena for another 30 minutes.

During the pursuit, the suspect drove at speeds up to 90 mph amid rush hour traffic on sometimes congested roads, at times taking to the wrong side of the street and blowing through red lights and stop signs. He even plowed through lowered railroad gates, disregarding the danger of a train collision and also clipped the rear of a gray sedan in a minor collision.

A pursuing cruiser was seen rear-ending a civilian vehicle at one point.

Police say the truck was involved in four traffic collisions during the chase.

California Highway Patrol officers took over the chase on the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena.

The crash that ended the pursuit occurred about 5:20 p.m. at the intersection of Orange Grove Boulevard and Holly Street.

Frenes got out of the truck and was taken into custody by officers, at least one of whom held him at gunpoint until backup arrived.

Firefighters then set about cutting open the SUV to free its driver, a woman who was loaded into an ambulance that took her to Huntington Memorial Hospital.

The woman was in serious but stable condition, police said.

Crews found two child seats in the rear of SUV, but the driver was the only occupant, a Pasadena Fire Department assistant chief said.

“It should be noted that Frenes is a self-admitted gang member,” according to a police statement that went on to note that the suspect was on probation under the Post Release Community Supervision Program following an assault conviction and was wanted for a parole violation.

Frenes was booked on suspicion of grand theft auto, felony hit-and-run, evading a peace officer and causing serious bodily injury and violation of probation, police said.

He was being held without bail at the Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles, according to sheriff’s inmate records.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.