Police: South Gate chase suspect possibly suicidal, smoked meth

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Police chased a stolen car suspect in an SUV from South Gate for more than two hours Monday on freeways and surface streets with light holiday traffic. (KABC)

Police chased a stolen car suspect in an SUV from South Gate for more than two hours Monday on freeways and surface streets with light holiday traffic.

After leading officers over multiple freeways throughout Los Angeles County, the suspect finally stopped in the middle of the southbound 405 in Long Beach.



He exited the Kia Sorrento and followed officers' commands to lift his shirt, indicating he had no weapons, and then walked backwards to the officers until he was taken into custody without further resistance.

South Gate police later identified the suspect as Gilbert A. Barajas, 32, of South Gate. He was arrested for felony evading, assault with a deadly weapon (for ramming another vehicle), driving a stolen vehicle and receiving stolen property.

"We had other reports that he was possibly suicidal and was possibly allegedly smoking methamphetamine," said Sgt. J.P. Beay with the California Highway Patrol.

The wife of the driver spoke to ABC7 Eyewitness News, saying she was on the phone with the suspect during the pursuit.

She said they had separated two days ago. At one point she told him "If you love me, pull over."

Police chased a stolen car suspect in an SUV from South Gate for more than an hour Monday on freeways and surface streets with light holiday traffic.



The chase began around 10:45 a.m. in South Gate on a report of a stolen SUV near Firestone Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue.

More than half a dozen police cars chased the solo male driver.



He at times appeared to be driving erratically, sideswiping other vehicles and road barriers, as well as crossing over a sidewalk and almost hitting a bicyclist. He also appeared to be smoking something while driving.

The pursuit moved over the 710, 105, and 605 freeways as well as surface streets. He headed eastbound on the 60 toward the Inland Empire, then exited and reversed direction, heading westbound on the 60 back through the City of Industry area. He took the 605 south and the 105 westbound then moved to the 405 southbound before surrendering in the Long Beach area.

At times his speeds approached 90 mph as freeway traffic was unusually light because of the Memorial Day holiday.
Related Topics:
newspolice chaseSouth GateLong BeachLos Angeles County
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