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Truck crash ends 2-hour police chase; officers pursue man,
wanted on a warrant, on several O.C. freeways. The suspect
is captured after allegedly beating police dog.

February 4, 2000
Los Angeles Times
By Louise Roug

A wild, two-hour chase through Orange County ended Wednesday morning with the California Highway Patrol arresting a Cypress man who allegedly hit a police dog with a flashlight.

Raul Armenta, 43, crashed his white Toyota truck into a guard rail on Interstate 5, said Irvine Police Sgt. Rick Handfield. He then tried to flee officers and a police dog. The officers eventually overpowered him by shooting him with a bean bag gun, Handfield said.

The chase began in Garden Grove when police pulled over Armenta for a routine traffic check at Haster Street and Chapman Avenue at about 2:20 a.m., police said. When officers discovered a warrant for Armenta's arrest and confronted him, the man fled, Handfield said.

Police pursued him onto freeways, and the California Highway Patrol began pursuit when Armenta got on the San Diego Freeway, said Michelle DiMaggio, a spokeswoman for the patrol. Speeds reached 75 mph.

Officers pursued the man along the Garden Grove Freeway, the San Diego Freeway, the San Joaquin Hills tollway and city streets before he crashed on Interstate 5 at the Avenida Pico exit in San Clemente, DiMaggio said.

Armenta tried to flee, but a police dog from Irvine was unleashed, police said. When the dog caught up with him, Armenta began beating the animal on the head with a flashlight, police said. Officers eventually took Armenta into custody.

The police dog was taken to a veterinarian and was reported to be in good condition.

Copyright 2000 Times Mirror Company

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