FAIRFAX DISTRICT (CBSLA) — A short pursuit came to a fiery end late Tuesday night near The Grove in the Fairfax District, killing an innocent man who was on his way home from work.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were reportedly pursuing a 28-year-old man who had assaulted a deputy during a routine traffic stop.
Deputies chased the driver to the intersection of 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue, where at approximately 10:30 p.m., he crashed into another car, the impact of which sent the second vehicle slamming into the side of a Citibank branch.
Los Angeles Fire Department crews attempted to pull the innocent driver, identified as 37-year-old Jeeves Tangonan, from his vehicle following the crash, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Family members said he was a chef at a West Hollywood hotel and was driving home from work when he was killed.
“He treated my sister perfect, he was the perfect husband, the perfect son, the perfect brother-in-law to me,” his brother-in-law Marlon Chavez told CBSLA Wednesday.
The suspect’s car, meanwhile, caught fire. He was taken into custody and transported to a nearby hospital in unknown condition.
Deputies had initially attempted to pull over the suspect, whose name was not released, for a traffic violation, the sheriff’s department said. However, a pursuit ensued when the suspect allegedly assaulted a deputy. The events that occurred during the traffic stop and the exact origin of the chase were unclear.
“Our condolences to the victim’s family, my heart goes out to them, because this person appeared to be under the influence,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. “There was definitely impairment, so we’re going through our investigative process.”
The suspect is facing a number of charges including vehicular manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer.
“I do want justice to be served for this man, to pay for what he did,” Chavez said. “I’ve never seen my sister and my family go through so much pain.”