A pursuit driver crashed the Mustang he was driving and ran across the freeway before officers found him hiding in a covered hot tub in an Anaheim backyard Tuesday, police said.
The homeowner, who captured cellphone video of officers searching in his backyard, reacted in disbelief after he watched officer lift the spa cover to reveal the accused driver in water up to his neck.
"Oh my God, he’s in our Jacuzzi, honey!" Don Norell said in the video.
Top news of the day
Norell said the man was unconscious when he was found, and for a moment, believed he was dead.
The ordeal began when a Placentia officer attempted to stop a black Ford Mustang at Kraemer Boulevard and Chapman Avenue at 5 a.m.
The Mustang kept going, and soon a passenger jumped from the car, police said. An officer quickly grabbed the man, identified by police as Andres Rivero, 36, of Fullerton.
The pursuit continued with the suspected driver, Erick Flowers, 29, behind the wheel on the 91 Freeway heading west.
Flowers then crashed, police said, at the State College Boulevard ramp and took off. He ran across all lanes of the 91 Freeway and began hopping through backyards in an Anaheim neighborhood.
Officers from Anaheim, Fullerton and La Habra Police Departments began searching backyards for Flowers.
They eventually found him submerged in a covered hot tub in a backyard in the 1400 block of Rosewood.
Norell was stunned when officers began searching his backyard for a suspect, and was even more shocked to realize someone snuck into his spa.
"They lifted it up and there he was just laying in there," Norell said. "He must have been there at least 30 minutes, breathing that hot, moist, chlorine-ish type air. He was just so out of it."
Norell and his wife were first worried the man might be dead.
"What if they didn't find him -- and my husband opened it up and found him lying there?" Lynne Norell said.
Flowers, a Anaheim resident, was taken to the hospital. He was later booked on suspicion of felony evading, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of stolen property, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Rivero, the passenger, was also booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a dangerous weapon.
As officers investigated the Mustang, they found stolen goods, drug paraphernalia, and a loaded sawed-off shotgun.