By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Deputies say a suspect early Monday stole a vehicle, rammed pursuing police cruisers, held a hostage at knifepoint and led officers on a foot chase before finally being taken into custody with the use of Tasers and a K9.
Luis Patricio Pedroza, 26, was booked on suspicion of two counts of felony evading, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a person, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, carjacking, two counts of attempted carjacking, kidnapping, four counts of false imprisonment, two counts of resisting arrest, burglary, auto theft, home invasion robbery and kidnapping during the commission of a home invasion robbery.
The incident began at 4:52 a.m. when deputies received a report of a vehicle stolen in the Wasco area, according to a Kern County Sheriff's Office news release. A patrol deputy spotted the vehicle between Wasco and McFarland and, with two McFarland patrol vehicles assisting, tried to stop the stolen car.
The news release said the driver, later identified as Pedroza, refused to stop, and led officers on a chase toward McFarland, at one point intentionally colliding with a McFarland patrol car.
The deputy and two McFarland officers pursued the stolen vehicle toward McFarland. Pedroza drove on Highway 99 against oncoming traffic, and when the vehicle became disabled on the center median he fled toward a residential neighborhood on Industrial Road.
Deputies and McFarland police lost sight of Pedroza but a sheriff's helicopter saw Pedroza hiding on the roof of a house in the area. When discovered, Pedroza forced his way into a home at 449 Industrial Road and, according to the release, as deputies entered the home he took a female occupant hostage at knifepoint. After Pedroza forced the hostage into a bedroom, deputies evacuated the home, called a SWAT team and set up a perimeter around the residence.
According to the news release, Pedroza then took a car from the home's garage, and while still holding the female hostage tried backing out of the garage. Although a McFarland police officer blocked the driveway with a patrol vehicle, Pedroza rammed it several times and was able to drive across the lawn onto the street and leave the area. He forced the woman out of the vehicle as it was moving. She suffered minor injuries.
Deputies and McFarland officers pursued Pedroza again northbound on Highway 99. According to the release, Pedroza exited at Pond Road and intentionally rammed a car. Pedroza then tried entering the northbound lanes of Highway 99 driving south from the northbound off-ramp.
When a deputy maneuvered his vehicle to block Pedroza from entering the highway, he rammed it and then fled on foot west across Highway 99. He tried to carjack a vehicle but failed. Deputies and McFarland officers were forced to use Tasers and a police K9 to subdue him. Two officers suffered minor injuries.
Pedroza was treated at Kern Medical Center before being booked at the Kern County Jail.