A 25-year-old convicted felon was charged Wednesday with leading Santa Ana police on a chase that ended with a crash of multiple vehicles and injuries to a pedestrian.
Juan Mendozagarcia pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a series of charges related to the theft of a 2004 Toyota Scion Tuesday morning, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
The Toyota had a Lojack anti-theft device in it, so police were able to track where it was when it was stolen, Bertagna said.
When police tried to pull Mendozagarcia over at 7:30 a.m. he kept going until he got into a high-speed crash with multiple vehicles at a shopping center at McFadden Avenue and Bristol Street, Bertagna said.
Mendozagarcia jumped out of the wrecked car and ran away, but was rounded up quickly, Bertagna said.
A pedestrian sustained a serious leg injury that required hospitalization when he became stuck between two of the cars in the crash, Bertagna said.
Mendozagarcia pleaded not guilty to hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury, failure to stop at a hit-and-run including an injury, car theft, evading police/reckless driving, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a gun, and bringing a drug into a jail, all felonies.
Mendozagarcia was also charged with a misdemeanor count of driving without a valid license.
Mendozagarcia was ordered to return to court Nov. 7 for a pretrial hearing in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
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