Murder suspect in wild 91 Freeway chase, standoff identified

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A driver in a black Mercedes-Benz suspected of leading police on a wild, multi-county chase and hours-long standoff in Corona Thursday has been identified as a 25-year-old man.

A driver in a black Mercedes-Benz suspected of leading police on a wild, multi-county chase and hours-long standoff in Corona Thursday has been identified as a 25-year-old man.

John Lopez has a long criminal history with the most recent allegation being attempted murder. Authorities said he was allegedly in the car with three other suspects earlier this week in Florence.

"Four people in a black Mercedes that pulled out a gun on two victims. The gun seemed like it malfunctioned," said Lt. Dan Holguin of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Thursday night, deputies spotted and tried to pull over the vehicle, then a chase began along the 91 Freeway eastbound, stretching from Los Angeles into Orange County.

The driver hit several vehicles, knocking off mirrors, and several times he collided with the center divider.

Despite the slow speed chase, the California Highway Patrol said attempting a PIT maneuver to stop him was not safe due to heavy traffic.

"There's the potential the vehicle is going to spin around, and we don't want that vehicle to, obviously, strike another vehicle," said Lt. Scott Moorhouse of the CHP.

A spike strip flattened the tires and the vehicle began to lose control, eventually stopping at the Orange County and Riverside County border. Then, a standoff that shut down both directions of the 91 Freeway near Corona frustrated many drivers.

"It's just amazing one guy can mess up the whole damn thing, here. You know, it's ridiculous," said Richard Renteria a Chino Hills resident.

Forty members of law enforcement were on the scene, including a SWAT team, because the suspect was not cooperating with negotiators, Moorhouse said.

The SWAT team broke out the back window and tear gas forced the suspect out, along with the help of a police dog. The suspect was then arrested.

After nearly three hours, traffic finally began to move.

Eyewitness News tried to talk with Lopez's family in Norwalk on Friday but received no response.

Lopez remained in custody while being treated for dog bite wounds, and at the very least, was expected to face felony evading charges.

The CHP said it was still trying to gather information on the drivers hit by the chase suspect's car. Those impacted were asked to contact authorities.
Related Topics:
newspolice chaseCHPstandoffattempted murderLos Angeles CountyOrange CountyRiverside County
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