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Police car crashes during a busy night in Echo Park

BY LUCY GUANUNA

ECHO PARK — Police helicopters hovered over opposite ends of the neighborhood Sunday night as the LAPD searched for suspects in two separate incidents. One officer was injured after his vehicle smashed into a light pole during one of the  pursuits.

Streets were shut down after officers searched for a man who they believed was in the possession of a gun as he he walked near Alvarado and Kent streets at around 11 pm, said Sgt. Rudy Alaniz with LAPD’s Rampart Division.

When officers approached the suspect, he fled on foot. Officers sealed off the area and used police dogs in a foot pursuit that lasted until about 12 a.m. The suspect was taken into custody and is being charged with impeding an officer’s investigation, said Alaniz. No gun was found at the scene.

During the pursuit, an officer crashed into a light pole near Alvarado and Kent. The officer was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries and is in good condition, said Alaniz.

The police pursuit near Alvarado and Kent began began shortly after officers were wrapping up an earlier, unrelated search for a different suspect about a 1-1/2 miles north in Elysian Park.  A man abandoned his vehicle on Vista Gordo Drive and ran into the park as he was being pursued by police, residents said.

Warnings from a police helicopter advised Elysian Heights residents to stay indoors as police dogs were deployed into the park, residents said. That man was apparently captured, according to residents. It’s not clear, however, why the man was being pursued by officers.

Lucy Guanuna is a freelance reporter who has covered a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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4 comments

  1. I’m impressed I manged to sleep through this and had no idea it was going on almost in my backyard lol. Craziness but glad the dude was caught.

    While I’m on this topic someone help me figure this out, is this area (pictured in the map) patrolled by Rampart Division or the Northeast Division? I’m hearing different answers

  2. LAPD patrol in Echo Park:
    NorthEast – north of Sunset Blvd.
    Rampart – south of Sunset Blvd

  3. Glad the officer seems to be doing ok. We watched much of the incident from about a block away from Kent and Alvarado, but just high enough to have a good view. Started at 11:00pm with loud noise (LAPD car smashed into signal pole) then intermittent police siren, followed by more lights/sirens, at that point counted eleven squad cars racing north on Alvarado past Kent. Shortly, many more LAPD cars were spreading like ants west on Kent, and EMS along with LAFD trucks arrived, all lt up like Christmas trees. Some kind of official cars with yellow lights hung around…supervisors? Most activity remained at Kent/Alvarado, with LAPD helicopter circling overhead during the activities, seeming to eventually concentrate on area between Kent and Bonnie Brae, near Rosemont.

    Thanks LAPD for protecting and serving, but we sure were happy when the Helicopter noise (right above our house with every circle it made) stopped at about 2:00am.

    Once the major police presence was gone, but while helicopter still circling, the total absence of traffic on Alvarado was rather eerie.

    BTW, Does anyone know what purpose is served by what appeared to be LAPD-associated small white van-like truck, sorta hanging around?

  4. NeighborhoodSniper

    No wonder I saw helicopters over the hill…

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