Driver Spins Out in Pursuit, Then Commandeers CHP Cruiser

A police pursuit in Kern County Wednesday featured a suspect carjacking four vehicles, including a police cruiser, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities identified the suspect as 29-year-old Juan Jose Galvez. The driver reportedly began in a silver Kia, continued in a Toyota Tacoma, then in a F5150 pickup truck, with the last vehicle being a CHP cruiser.

The chase began in the Palmdale area around 5 p.m. when the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Palmdale Station attempted to pull over the suspect and a female passenger, according to the LASD. He was suspected of driving recklessly and possibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the LA County Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

The pursuit headed into the Lancaster area where authorities in that jurisdiction took over. It was here that the suspect carjacked both pickups, according to the LASD. The CHP said they were asked to join the pursuit after someone assaulted a sheriff's deputy in the Antelope Valley.

The driver was making a wide turn in the second pickup down a dirt road in the Rosamond area when he lost control and spun out, kicking up a large dust cloud. He took off running, leaving the female passenger behind.

"Our officers lost sight of the subject and the female there at the scene," CHP Officer Monique Mischeaux said.

The suspect started running toward an unoccupied police cruiser, and hopped in to continue the chase.

He averted capture by weaving on and off dirt roads, sometimes facing officers head-on in the cruiser.

Ultimately, he bottomed out in a ditch to the side of a road in Rosamond and was detained.

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The woman in the truck when the driver spun out was found later Wednesday evening after running off in dust cloud and hiding in the desert.

No officers were hurt in the pursuit, but the patrol car was badly damaged.

CHP is still looking for the suspect’s handgun, which he reportedly used when carjacking one of the pickup trucks.

Galvez is being charged with felony evading, among other charges.

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