Chase: Suspect behind violent pursuit through LA, OC identified

According to court records, the 32-year-old has an extensive criminal history with several convictions in L.A. County.

Friday, November 11, 2022
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The man behind Wednesday night's wild and dangerous chase through the streets of Los Angeles and Orange counties has been identified.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The man behind Wednesday night's wild and dangerous chase through the streets of Los Angeles and Orange counties has been identified.

According to an update issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, 32-year-old Johnny Anchondo has been named the suspect who led authorities on the pursuit that was heavily viewed by many.

During the chase, Anchondo was seen ramming into sheriff's cruisers, sideswiping cars and stealing multiple vehicles during a desperate attempt to get away.

At one point, Anchondo was seen ditching one stolen vehicle, and bursting into a family's home to try to hide. The family members and their pets were home and fought with him in the driveway - one even brandishing a knife - after he stole the keys to their utility truck. Anchondo smashed through their front gate and took off yet again.

During another dramatic moment, Anchondo was pinned in against a gated driveway by a police vehicle.

Rather than give up at that point, he hit reverse on the stolen vehicle and smashed into the cruiser again and again, eventually creating enough space for him to swing around and flee again.

RELATED: Whittier man details confronting chase suspect, trying to stop theft of his family's work truck

The entire incident lasted nearly an hour and a half and only ended when the stolen utility truck - at least the third vehicle Anchondo drove during the chase - crashed at a gas station and was rammed by a sheriff's cruiser.

WATCH: Chase suspect in stolen van rams police cruiser multiple times

Flames broke out underneath the truck and eventually, deputies opened fire into the vehicle. They finally got Anchondo out by smashing the windows and taking him into custody.

The sheriff's department said deputies used less-than-lethal force when apprehending Anchondo.

According to court records, Anchondo has an extensive criminal history with several convictions in L.A. County for carjacking, reckless evading and joyriding.

In Riverside County, ABC7 found 18 cases filed under his name - two of which are still active and include traffic violations.

Anchondo is currently being held on a parole violation pending further charges.

Eyewitness News reached out to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for comment and received the following statement.

"As is our policy, we've reached out to the investigating agency before releasing commitment history. At the request of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, because of their ongoing investigation, no information on Johnny Anchondo will be provided at this time."

Meanwhile, a different driver whose car was hit by Anchondo was also detained at the end of the chase.

WATCH: Dangerous SoCal chase ends as deputies shoot into stolen truck

Adrian Cruz told ABC7 he was on his way home from work, and had his family in the car, when the chaotic scene unfolded in front of him. He then got out of the car because he said he wanted to get out of the way of any possible crossfire.

"It just sounded crazy, like a war zone... so I got out of the car immediately," Cruz said. "I don't want my son and my wife to be a part of that, so as soon as I get out of the car the cops just smash me, start socking me up, smashing me, throwing me in the back, like if I was the dude that stole the car."

Cruz said he was released shortly after.

Eyewitness News reached out to the sheriff's department on why he was detained, but has not heard back.

The innocent victims who had their vehicles stolen by Anchondo are currently having to seek alternate plans for transportation and work.

READ MORE | Man's work van stolen during chase just as he was coming home from family trip to Knott's Berry Farm

Community members have since stepped in to help the victims.

The following GoFundMe accounts were set up to help:

www.gofundme.com/f/work-truck-stolen-with-tools

www.gofundme.com/f/in-search-of-refrigerated-van

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