A man who allegedly led authorities on a wild chase from downtown Los Angeles to Orange County and Lakewood that ended with police repeatedly ramming the vehicle pleaded not guilty Monday to three felony counts.
Luis Silvas, 33, was charged last week with one count each of carjacking, assault on a peace officer and fleeing a pursuing peace officer.
He was arrested Nov. 19 following the police pursuit and subsequent standoff.
The chase began at about 12:45 p.m. that day when Los Angeles Police Department officers tried to stop the car, which had been reported stolen in Downey, near Hill and 25th streets, according to the LAPD.
The man — who was subsequently identified as Silvas — refused to yield, heading onto the southbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway and leading officers on an erratic chase that at times went onto the wrong side of the road both on the freeway and surface streets.
After about 30 minutes, he was in the Buena Park area driving the wrong way on the freeway shoulder, coming to a stop at Artesia Boulevard, where a brief standoff with officers ensued and traffic was halted on both sides of the freeway.
The driver of the four-door sedan began moving again and went onto surface streets, where an officer used a patrol car to spin out the suspect’s vehicle temporarily. But the suspect drove off again, heading onto Beach Boulevard with officers in pursuit.
The driver made his way back onto the 5 Freeway toward Los Angeles County, where he exited in Cerritos and stopped in the area of Del Amo Boulevard and Winkler Avenue, when a pickup blocked his path on the two-lane road. The pickup driver got out and ran into a grassy area, leaving his vehicle as an obstacle.
The driver again engaged in a brief standoff with police but managed to steer around the parked pickup, continuing the chase into Lakewood. The stolen vehicle’s driver’s side tires were flat, however — possibly from a spike strip that had been hastily deployed earlier in the pursuit — and the suspect eventually stopped near Bloomfield Avenue and Del Amo Boulevard.
The man rolled down his windows and exchanged words with officers, but refused to exit the car. Authorities fired non-lethal rounds into the car, shattering a rear window, but he still refused to surrender.
The man stepped out of the car at about 3:15 p.m. and was hit by at least two bean-bag rounds. A police dog was deployed, and the suspect could be seen swinging at the animal, possibly with a knife. The encounter with the dog visibly enraged the suspect, and he got back into the car and made a slow attempt to drive off.
Pursuing officers repeatedly rammed the slow-moving vehicle in a scene reminiscent of a bumper-car attraction, eventually pinning the suspect along a curb at Bloomfield Avenue and Lemming Street.
Completely boxed in, the suspect surrendered to police at about 3:25 p.m. and was taken into custody without further incident.
Superior Court Judge Victoria B. Wilson rejected the defense’s request to release Silvas on his own recognizance. The judge ordered the defendant to remain behind bars in lieu of $150,000 bail while awaiting a hearing Dec. 10 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.