Three Bay Area men who allegedly led police on a chase at speeds topping 100 mph from the Mid-City area to a parking structure at the Sherman Oaks Galleria are expected to be arraigned in a downtown courtroom Wednesday.
Xavier Pittman, 21, Damillion Davonte Williamson, 22, both of San Francisco, and Jaurice Anthony Laxa, 25, of Daly City, are each facing seven felony counts of second-degree burglary of a vehicle, two counts of fleeing an officer while driving recklessly, and one count of vandalism over $400. The three are also charged with three misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage, in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.
Prosecutors say the trio burglarized four vehicles in June in Hollywood and Mid-Wilshire and escaped pursuit by police. Then on July 19, the men allegedly broke into three more cars in Hollywood and the Fairfax area before leading police on a chase.
The pursuit began sometime after 10 a.m. in the Mid-City area, with police saying at least one of the people in the vehicle was wanted on suspicion of burglary from motor vehicles, Fox11 reported.
The chase led into the West Los Angeles and Palms area before moving north on the San Diego (405) Freeway, with the driver hitting speeds that topped 100 mph. Driving at times on the freeway shoulder, the suspect moved north on the Ventura (101) Freeway, then did an abrupt U-turn in the Encino area, moving south on the freeway.
The driver side-swiped a truck while trying to dodge freeway traffic, damaging the driver’s side of the sedan and causing a stream of smoke from the rear tire area.
The motorist then exited the 101 Freeway and drove into the Sherman Oaks Galleria parking area, out of sight of the police helicopter crew following the suspects from above.
Police swarmed the mall area and established a perimeter as they conducted the search and arrested the three men.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 7 1/2 years in prison if convicted as charged.
Bail has been set at $310,000 for each of the men, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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