Authorities take OC kidnapping, chase suspect into custody in Cerritos hours after evasion

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A kidnapping suspect was taken into custody in Cerritos Tuesday night after evading police during an hours-long chase and standoff in Newport Beach the previous night. (KABC)

Authorities took a kidnapping suspect into custody who escaped on foot near a Newport Beach park after leading police on a bizarre chase across several Orange County freeways with his two young children and the children's mother in his Hummer.

Thomas Ueno, 35, was arrested in a Cerritos neighborhood not far from his parent's home on Kensington Avenue, and it was unclear what he was doing there. He faces a slew of felony charges.

Earlier Tuesday morning, police and SWAT officials went door-to-door and canvassed the area near Castaways Park in the 700 block of Dover Drive using K-9 officers after Ueno fled from officers late Monday night. The search was suspended around 7 a.m., over 12 hours after the incident began.

Huntington Park police said the female victim had a restraining order against Ueno. In January, detectives were assigned to investigate a domestic violence case surrounding the woman and Ueno.

"Since the filing of the crime report, the suspect made numerous attempts to contact the victim. Investigators made efforts to locate the suspect; however, he managed to avoid capture," Huntington Park police said in a press release on Tuesday morning.

On Monday, the woman sent a message to a detective assigned to her case stating that Ueno was holding her against her will.

After discovering the victim was possibly in Buena Park, Huntington Park police asked Buena Park police to look out for the suspect's dark-colored Hummer.

As soon as authorities spotted Ueno near Beach Boulevard and Commonwealth Avenue in Buena Park, he gave chase. The suspect slowly weaved through traffic on the southbound 5 Freeway in Anaheim, Orange and Santa Ana, then got on the 55 and 405 freeways.

He eventually exited Jamboree Road and traveled down through Newport Beach toward the coast. Around 7 p.m., Ueno stopped and spoke with negotiators, but then quickly sped off down a residential road.

The suspect stopped at Dover Drive and E. 17th Street around 9 p.m. and again began negotiating with police officers to peacefully surrender with his children and their mother.

For a few hours, the suspect remained in the vehicle with the woman and kids, occasionally stepping out to let the two boys, ages 1 and 6, urinate before getting back into the SUV.

During the standoff, Ueno fled on foot up a hillside into the brush in Castaways Park, leaving his two children and their mother behind. They appeared to be unharmed and could be seen walking with officers toward a nearby patrol car.

Witness Michael Hicks said he was confronted by the suspect as he ran from police on foot.

"All of a sudden seven or eight shots ring out, and the suspect in a hoodie comes running out towards me and says, 'I'm hit, I'm hit, they shot me,'" Hicks said. "I'm in shock. I don't know if he's got a gun, so he asked me to get him out of there. I didn't say anything, but I made sure to watch where he went because I knew the police would be coming shortly. The police came up, and I pointed out where he jumped over the fence."

ABC7 reporter Leo Stallworth contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
newspolice chasechildrenkidnappingstandoffarrestOrange CountyBuena ParkNewport BeachLos Angeles CountyHuntington ParkCerritos
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