MONTEREY PARK (CBS) — More information surfaced Wednesday regarding a wild police chase — broadcast live Tuesday night on KCAL9 and cbsla.com — that involved a baby on board the suspect’s vehicle.
Detectives at the CHP’s office in Monterey Park, as well as the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division, remained tight-lipped about the case.
But we did learn that the 25-year-old mother, a passenger in the truck, and the 33-year-old father, who was the driver, were both on parole at the time of the chase. Both have a criminal history.
The 3-month-old baby boy, who was seen being taken out of the truck by a CHP officer following the chase, was returned to his mother’s custody.
It was an ending that no one, not even the CHP, expected — a baby in a strapped to a car seat in the suspect’s vehicle.
The driver, Sergio Avalos, never pulled over after 40 minutes on L.A. freeways Wednesday night.
“Our units decided to use the PIT Maneuver to terminate the pursuit. We were unaware that a child was on board,” said CHP Sergeant Bill Preciado.
The PIT Maneuver, as it is intended, spun the suspect’s vehicle around about 180 degrees, effectively ending the chase.
“The PIT Maneuver is done according to policy and was done according to policy here tonight. There was some damage to the patrol vehicle and the other vehicle, but we terminated the pursuit. If it would have continued, who knows what could have happened,” said CHP Sergeant Bill Preciado.
Inside the truck the CHP found drug paraphernalia, cash, stolen items and a butcher knife.
Despite the finding, we confirmed that the baby was returned to his mother, who had sat in the passenger seat during the pursuit.
The baby’s father, a convicted felon on a no-bail warrant, remained in jail to face several felonies.
“They just motioned that there was a child in the car and for us to be careful,” Preciado said, referring to the officers’ response.
The baby’s mother refused to talk and did not answer any of our questions.
But we learned that she was on parole for evading police in a previous pursuit three years ago.
Authorities said that there was not enough evidence to arrest her last night, so she was released back with her infant.
Hours later she posted a message on her Facebook wall which read, “I can’t believe life sometimes… I’m given another chance and I am going to take it. I am going to prove to myself that I can be something.”
Parole and the Department of Children and Family Services were investigating and not commenting on the case.
Authorities believed that Avalos has gang affiliations. He faced multiple charges, including child endangerment and failing to yield.