SANTA ANA – Police arrested a Los Angeles man early Wednesday morning after a high-speed chase that began after his ex-girlfriend reported he had kidnapped and assaulted her.
Salvador Bernal, 43, was arrested on suspicion of evading arrest, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department, and El Monte authorities are investigating him in connection with the woman’s reports.
Officials first received a 911 call around 12:30 a.m. from a woman who said her ex-boyfriend had taken her from El Monte and held her against her will, Bertagna said. She also said he had stabbed her, Bertagna said.
She was able to get out of the man’s silver 1998 Mercedes sedan when he stopped for gas at North Bristol Street and West Memory Lane, Bertagna said, and she asked a person in the shopping complex for help calling police. When officers arrived, she gave them a description of her ex-boyfriend and his car, Bertagna said.
Officers found the man in the vehicle parked about 50 yards away and followed him as he got onto the freeway. An Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter also followed the Mercedes as it moved from the southbound I-5 to the southbound 55, at times reaching 130 mph, Bertagna said. At the transition to the 73 toll road, the driver spun out and hit a guard rail, Bertagna said, which allowed the pursuing vehicles to catch up. The Mercedes continued on without tires, eventually crashing at Moulton Parkway.
After the second crash, Bernal was taken into custody without further incident, Bertagna said.
By CLAUDIA KOERNER / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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