A 19-year-old Santa Monica gang member was arrested on Friday, Aug. 9 after speeding and catching the attention of police officers conducting an unrelated traffic stop.
At 11:52 pm officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were called out to assist another patrol unit that had conducted a traffic stop in the 1600 block of Pico Boulevard.
While they had been standing on the north curb of Pico Boulevard assisting with the detention of occupants of the stopped vehicles the officers saw a silver sedan driving westbound and honking its horn alongside a silver minivan that was travelling in the same direction.
The minivan then made a sudden u-turn and went into a multi-level parking structure located in the 1600 block of Pico Boulevard.
Approximately three minutes later this minivan exited the parking structure travelling at a high velocity.
The vehicle also displayed front-end damage, and was now spewing a great deal of smoke.
As the vehicle sped by the officers the driver was recognized as a local gang member.
The officers hopped into their cruiser and a brief pursuit ensued.
This chase ended in the 2300 block of 16th Street whereupon the gang member driver jumped out of the minivan and ran away on foot, heading northbound on 16th Street.
The officers discovered this gang member driver hiding in some bushes nearby a few minutes later.
The officers decided to talk to this gang member driver and soon realized that, due to the fact that he was struggling to keep his balance and he was mumbling more incoherently than was perhaps the norm, he was intoxicated.
Based upon all the evidence this Santa Monica man was arrested and charged with hit and run, reckless driving, driving without a license, resisting arrest and committing a crime for the benefit of a street gang.
Bail was set at $50,000.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.