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Police chase ends in death of pedestrian

September 4, 2008 7:42:50 AM PDT
The LAPD investigates after an innocent bystander is killed during a police chase in Lincoln Heights.Robert Palacios, 41, was arrested and charged with murder after his red Mazda crashed into a silver minivan, then into a man on Wednesday at about 2:20 p.m. The crash killed 61-year-old Demetrio Sosa, who was in the crosswalk on North Broadway and Griffin.

A 36-year-old woman in the minivan was also injured and was taken to a local hospital.

Police said the pursuit began after Palacios gave officers a startled look, which authorities say is an indicator that the person is up to no good. Officers attempted to pull the driver over, but Palacios did not yield.

Palacios sped off, allegedly driving erratically, and at one point, driving through a parking lot and narrowly missing a group of people, police said.

"The investigation revealed that the suspect has a suspended driver's license," said an LAPD spokeswoman. She added that Palacios was driving under the influence of alcohol, and an open container was found inside his vehicle.

Police said officers backed off from the pursuit, allowing choppers to keep track of Palacios.

People who knew Sosa said he would often walk to a market in the area, and said they can't believe his life has ended so tragically.

"He was very nice man, very good neighbor, I am very very upset 'cause he was good neighbor to me," said Bertha Morales, the victim's neighbor.

Palacios is held on $1 million bail.

 

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