Car slams into home while being followed by authorities in Athens

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A car was being followed by sheriff's deputies Monday evening when it slammed through an iron gate and into the front of an occupied home in Athens, authorities said.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred shortly before midnight in the unincorporated area near 121st and Main streets, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Century station. Officials initially said the crash happened at the end of a chase, but later clarified that deputies had made no attempt to pull over or stop the vehicle.

Authorities began following the Dodge Charger after they observed the suspect driving erratically, according to the department. The driver later lost control of the sedan, which traversed three steps to the front porch and plowed into the residence.

Five adults were sleeping inside the house at the time of the crash.

Investigators said it was unclear if the motorist was under the influence.

"I was asleep. I thought it was an earthquake," said Gwen Yancy. "All of a sudden there was a car coming through the house."

After the collision, the occupants of the vehicle allegedly stashed a weapon in the home, then demanded that the residents tell authorities they were relatives and to hide them.

"I just told them, 'Please don't hurt us, please,'" a woman said in an interview at the scene. "I heard my grandmother crying. I said, 'Please, just let me get to my grandmother.' That was my main concern."

The driver and a passenger -- known gang members -- were subsequently arrested, authorities said, and a third suspect was being sought.
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