car chase

Standoff Between Pursuit Driver and Police Ends With a Swig of Beer

A female passenger was taken into police custody

A driver locked in a standoff with police after a pursuit into Seal Beach Thursday morning took a long swig of his beer, then surrendered.

The low-speed chase of the stolen Mazda began in Westminster and ended in a standoff on Pacific Coast Highway just south of Seal Beach Boulevard. Officers had at some point flattened two of the fleeing SUV's tires by using a spike strip.

As the driver dangled his arms out of the window and yelled at officers, a female passenger got out of the SUV and was arrested.

Police believed the driver could be armed with a gun. An armored vehicle pulled up in front of the SUV while crisis negotiators tried to convince the man, who was drinking from a large beer bottle, to surrender.

After about 30 minutes, the man got out of the car, took off his shirt and was taken into custody.

Westminster Police Department
Raul Negrete (left) and Joni Daniella Huerta, both 30, were arrested on Thursday, May 26, 2016 after leading police on a pursuit from Westminster to Seal Beach in a stolen SUV.

He was identified as 30-year-old Raul Negrete of Westminster. Police said he has a "lengthy criminal history," and he could be linked to previous car thefts in the area.

Police say the woman, 30-year-old Joni Daniella Huerta, knew the car was stolen. She was booked for possession of stolen property.

The relationship between the man and his passenger was unclear.

Westminster police received the call about the stolen SUV from the Los Angeles Police Department. As they officers were taking the report, the GPS in the car pinged at Westminster Avenue and Monroe Street, about one block from the police station.


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Southern California’s wild police chases: We’ve all seen them, and some can take pretty unexpected turns. Watch our collection of some of the wildest moments from the most infamous, dramatic pursuits.

Vikki Vargas contributed to this report.

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