A hit-and-run suspect accused of leading officers on a chase through the Hollywood area in a Toyota Prius, striking civilian vehicles and hitting police cars along the way, was charged Monday with eight felonies and four misdemeanors.
Pharuehat Wilaisophakun, 27, of Los Angeles, faces three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts each of assault on a peace officer and hit-and-run driving resulting in injury, and one count of fleeing an officer while driving recklessly, along with four misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage.
Authorities allege Wilaisophakun was driving a 2018 Prius that collided with another vehicle around 1:10 p.m. April 4 near Highland Avenue and Yucca Street, then fled the scene.
A police officer who witnessed the collision gave chase. Police say the driver was speeding, running red lights and weaving in and out of traffic on city streets and the Hollywood (101) Freeway during the pursuit, in which he allegedly rammed three police vehicles that tried to block him.
At one point, the Prius crashed into a parked vehicle with a baby inside, but the child escaped injury, according to authorities. The pursuit ended in a collision between the fleeing driver and a truck, with police vehicles pinning in the Prius and blocking any escape, according to police.
No serious injuries were reported.
If convicted as charged, Wilaisophakun faces up to 22 years in prison. Prosecutors planned to ask that the defendant’s bail be set at $340,000.
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