Santa Barbara County – 20-year old Maria Chavez, a young mother and resident of the city of Guadalupe in northern Santa Barbara County is in love. She’s so deeply in love, that she has apparently abandoned her maternal instincts in favor of “going along for the ride” with her boyfriend, Angel Lopez.
Lopez, a felony parolee only 22 years of age himself and sporting an odd array of facial tattoos indicative of his interest in the lifestyle of a criminal street gang, was behind the wheel of a Toyota Sienna minivan late in the morning of November 6th when it was reported as stolen out of San Luis Obispo. When, according to Guadalupe Police Department Chief Gary Hoving, one of his department’s patrol units observed the minivan near U.S. Highway 1 and they gave pursuit, “we started to follow and the car tried to outmaneuver us.”
When Lopez realized that he was being pursued by police, he accelerated and careened through a residential neighborhood, traversing a residential back yard at speed, and then turning down a narrow alleyway where, Hoving reported “they hit power lines” and the van flipped onto its side.
When police arrived on the scene and surveyed the wreckage, they found an infant in Chavez’ arms and observed Lopez hiding in the back seat. Lopez was taken into custody at the scene and transported to Marian Regional Medical Center suffering from a broken collar bone.
Having gone through the crash while strapped into a child’s carseat, the infant was unharmed and released to Santa Barbara County Child Protective Services. Chavez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of resisting or delaying an officer and felony child endangerment. For his part, Lopez was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of felony evading causing injury, possession of a stolen vehicle, and parole violation.
Santa Maria Times: Angel Lopez
KSBY: High speed chase ends in crash