Suspect in high-speed chase was previously charged with grand theft, child cruelty and drug possession

The man arrested this week in connection with the police wildcat chase through Los Angeles and Orange counties had previously been arrested on suspicion of grand theft, drug possession and premeditated child cruelty, among other things, according to court documents.

The hour-long high-speed pursuit, which began Wednesday afternoon, included two stolen vehicles that rammed several cars, including two police cruisers, before ending in gunfire at a Hacienda Heights gas station.

Johnny Anchondo, 32, of Moreno Valley, was arrested Wednesday and charged with violating his probation pending further charges, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Anchondo is being held at the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station without bail and on probation.

“This was obviously an incredibly dangerous pursuit involving a suspect who had no regard for public safety, motorists on the road and the police officers involved,” Capt said. Jon Radus, a spokesman for the Fullerton Police Department where the pursuit began. “I’m just grateful no one was seriously hurt.”

Anchondo had been indicted 18 times by the Riverside County Attorney’s Office on drug possession, grand larceny, evasion of arrest, intentional child cruelty, receipt of stolen property, violation of probation and other counts dating back to 2013. He had also been charged with carjacking in Los Angeles County. Driving or taking possession of a vehicle without consent, reckless avoidance felonies and hit-and-run offenses, among other felonies.

According to Riverside Superior Court records, Anchondo was last arrested in August and charged with violating his probation. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wednesday’s chase began around 4:45 p.m. when officers saw the driver of a black Honda Civic committing traffic violations near Auto Center Drive and the 5 freeway in Fullerton, Radus said. The man sped away and police followed him to Anaheim.

The suspect then entered an apartment complex, where he parked the Civic and jumped into a white Chevrolet van nearby, KABC-TV Channel 7 video showed.

A police SUV attempted to block the van from the rear, but the driver started and backed into the SUV, repeatedly ramming it before making his way out of the apartment complex.

The pursuit crossed LA County, with the suspect driving the van without a left rear wheel and crashing into multiple vehicles, video shows show. The driver rammed another police vehicle, Radus said.

After the van immobilized, sparks flew from its rear wheels and smoke billowed from the engine, the suspect jumped out and ran through the back door into an apartment building in Whittier, video shows.

He emerged from the driveway, followed by several people, including one with a knife, and dogs. The suspect got into a white Chevrolet pickup truck and, trying to escape again, crashed into a gate, narrowly missing a small dog that ran under the vehicle.

The chase ended at the 1000 block of Hacienda Boulevard, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The suspect hit another car and was rammed by a police vehicle before pulling into a gas station where, according to KCBS-TV Channel 2, he encountered a pump and attempted to reverse.

The deputies opened fire on the suspect, but the sheriff’s department said no one was hit by the shots. A brief standoff ensued until officers with ballistic shields approached the suspect, smashed the driver’s side window and held him with his hands raised. Suspect in high-speed chase was previously charged with grand theft, child cruelty and drug possession

Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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