A man suspected of attacking his wife with a chainsaw in front of their three children in Whittier has been taken into custody in San Diego County, police said.
Police believe Alejandro Alvarez, 32, tried to kill his wife at their home before driving off Wednesday afternoon.
The drama unfolded Wednesday when Whittier police were sent to the 7700 block of Milton Avenue on a report of "an attempted murder stemming from a domestic violence incident," said Officer John Scroggins, a spokesman for the Whittier Police Department.
Top news of the day
When police arrived, they found a woman suffering from wounds caused by a chainsaw, officials said. She was taken to a hospital with wounds to her chest. She was listed in stable condition. The children, ages 10, 8 and 5, were not hurt. They were placed into protective custody, Scoggins said.
While on the run, Alvarez crashed the car, then took a Mercury Mountaineer from a driver who had left it and the keys in the ignition, police said.
Authorities in San Diego County found Alvarez on Thursday afternoon still inside the stolen sport utility vehicle, Scroggins said.
During the traffic stop, Alvarez allegedly tried to ram a police car, but authorities managed to take him into custody without anyone getting hurt, said Chula Vista Police Lt. Kenny Heinz.
Alejandro Abaunza watched in fear as police officers tried to pull Alvarez over. "I was scared," he said. "I think he had a gun."
Alvarez had no connection to Chula Vista, but it's near Mexico, where he has family, police said.
He was jailed in Chula Vista, awaiting transfer to Whittier where he will be booked on charges of attempted murder, child endangerment, hit and run and grand theft auto, police said.
Mike Pickle, a neighbor in Whittier, said he heard screaming and saw the woman covered in blood coming out of the house with the children.
"It's a little crazy," Pickle said. "This is a peaceful neighborhood."
KNSD's Gaby Rodriguez contributed to this report.