Man Charged With Leading Police on Pursuit That Ended in Metro Tunnel

DOWNEY (CNS) - A man accused of leading police on a wild pursuit that ended in a Metro Gold Line tunnel in the Boyle Heights area was charged today with a half-dozen criminal counts.

Rafael Lopez Jr., 27, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at the Downey courthouse on one count each of fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle while driving recklessly, fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle and driving against traffic, driving or taking a vehicle without consent, receiving a stolen vehicle, trailer, construction equipment or vessel, hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person and hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage.

Lopez, who allegedly drove at high speeds, ran through red lights, traveled on the wrong side of the road and struck another vehicle, could face up to four years and four months in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The televised chase began Tuesday night near Gage and Salt Lake avenues in Huntington Park after police tried to pull over a truck that had been reported stolen. The chase ended after Lopez allegedly drove onto the light rail lines of the Metro Gold Line and into an underground tunnel, then ditched the truck and tried to hide in a closet inside the tunnel.

He's being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

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