An ex-con is facing five felony charges for allegedly kidnapping and beating his girlfriend and leading police on a three-hour pursuit that ended after he ran into a discount store in Rowland Heights, where he was arrested at gunpoint after customers rushed outside.
Alexis Leonard Avina, 29, of Buena Park, is charged with one felony count each of kidnapping, injuring a girlfriend, false imprisonment by violence, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle and driving against traffic and fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle while driving recklessly.
The criminal complaint includes allegations that he caused great bodily injury and that he has prior convictions for assault with a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm and carrying a concealed dirk or dagger with gang allegations in 2008, 2010 and 2013.
Police tried to pull Avina over April 24 after he was allegedly spotted striking the 31-year-old woman while driving in South Gate. The woman tried to flee from the vehicle multiple times as Avina led police on a three-hour chase through Los Angeles and Orange counties before he pulled into a shopping center and ran into a 99 Cents Only store near the intersection of Nogales Street and Colima Road in Rowland Heights, prompting people to stream out of the business, according to police.
Officers ran into the store with rifles drawn and Avina was led out in handcuffs.
He was released two days later on bond. He was subsequently arrested by authorities from Orange County and was ordered to serve 180 days in jail there after being found to be in violation of post-release community supervision, according to Orange County Superior Court records.
It was not immediately clear when he would be arraigned in the Los Angeles County case, in which he could face a maximum of more than 43 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged.
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