Man framed by cops in '96 leads chase

GLENDALE, Calif. Glendale police said they have no clue why Javier Ovando sped away when officers attempted to pull him over for a traffic violation.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Gene Gleeson's report from the scene.

The chase began in Glendale near the new Americana shopping center when Ovando pulled an illegal U-turn on Colorado Boulevard around 7:15 p.m., police said. Ovando, a paraplegic, drove a Hummer as he took off down the 134 Freeway at speeds up to 100 mph.

Police chased him through Pasadena to the 210 Freeway, down the 605 Freeway, back west on the 10 and the 101 to the 5 Freeway. He then drove on the 110 Freeway, where he reversed and drove down to the 5 and to the 60.

The pursuit finally ended in the 1700 block of Eckhart Avenue in Montebello -- in front of his attorney's home. Ovando was arrested, and police retrieved his wheelchair from the back of the Hummer. However, police said he became combative when officers tried to lift him into the chair, and allegedly spit on officers and injured one officer's finger. A hood was put over his head to prevent more spitting, and he was taken to jail.

He was out on bail a week ago for allegedly making terrorist threats in the sheriff's Lost Hills area.

Ovando was involved in one of the abuses that became part of the Rampart Scandal. He was shot and paralyzed in October 1996 and framed by corrupt officers Rafael Perez and Nino Durden. They planted a gun on him and testified that he had fired at them.

Ovando, then a member of the 18th Street Gang, received a $15 million settlement in November 2000 after Perez recanted his testimony.

Ovando now faces felony evading, reckless driving and assault on a police officer. He will be arraigned Tuesday.

City News Service contributed to this story.


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