A man who led police on a wild pursuit that ended in a Metro Gold Line tunnel in the Boyle Heights area last month pleaded no contest to felony charges and was handed a two-year prison term, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Friday.
Rafael Lopez Jr., 27, of Los Angeles, entered his plea to one count each of fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle and driving against traffic, driving or taking a vehicle without consent and hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person.
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The chase began the evening of Feb. 20 near Gage and Salt Lake avenues in Huntington Park after police tried to pull over a truck that had been reported stolen. Lopez drove at high speeds, ran through red lights, drove on the wrong side of the road and struck another vehicle during the televised
pursuit, which ended after he drove onto the light rail lines of the Metro Gold Line and into an underground tunnel, then ditched the truck and tried to hide in a closet inside the tunnel.
Lopez was arrested that night and has remained behind bars since then.