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Wounded car-theft suspect calls 911, surrenders

November 22, 2011

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LOS ANGELES—A wounded car-theft suspect fleeing police at speeds up to 100 mph surrendered Monday after calling authorities -- to help him.

The chase through Los Angeles and its northern suburbs ended when the Tucson, Ariz., man, wounded by police gunfire, used a cell phone to dial 911 then pulled over and was taken into custody, said Officer Rick Quintero, a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

The man and a second suspect, a woman, also of Tucson, were initially stopped by two park rangers at Hungry Valley state park, north of Los Angeles, on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle.

Authorities handcuffed the woman and put her in a ranger's SUV, but the man was able to break away, jumped in the state vehicle and the couple sped away with a park ranger clinging to the side of the vehicle, Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Mark Pope said.

After a short distance, the park ranger fell off the SUV and onto the ground, Pope said. The man made a U-turn and drove toward the park ranger who opened fire at the driver, Pope said. The man still managed to drive away and the pursuit began.

Video broadcast by TV stations showed the white SUV barreling through streets and sideswiping other vehicles before coming to a halt on a freeway in Los Angeles.

CHP officers approached the SUV, pulled out the handcuffed woman, 21, and driver, 25, and took them into custody. The woman was taken to a hospital where she was treated for minor injuries, then to a sheriff's station for booking. The man was taken to a hospital for treatment for a gunshot wound to his upper torso. His condition was not known, the sheriff's department said.

The names of the man and woman were not immediately released.

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