PALMDALE – A man suspected of driving recklessly while under the influence of drugs and thought to be armed led deputies on a chase from Lancaster into Palmdale Thursday afternoon before being stopped by a PIT maneuver.
Tony Soundara, 30, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance, evading police and outstanding warrants, said Lt. Slade Carrizosa of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station. Soundara’s passenger, 26-year-old Talisha Mitchell, was also taken into custody, Carrizosa said.
Deputies in Lancaster began chasing Soundara’s gray Scion about 4:15 p.m. after Soundara refused to submit to a DUI-related traffic stop on Avenue I near Fern Avenue, Carrizosa said.
“The pursuit was canceled in Lancaster at Sierra Highway and Avenue M,” Carrizosa added.
Counterparts from the sheriff’s Palmdale Station took over the chase as it crossed Avenue M, said Lt. Frank Quichocho, watch commander of the Palmdale Station.
Deputies and a sheriff’s air unit were told to monitor the Scion in surveillance mode, but as the vehicle got into more populated areas, Quichocho said he requested the CHP execute a PIT maneuver.
“[CHP] took over the pursuit at Avenue O and 10th Street West,” said CHP Officer Joshua Wupperfeld. “We followed the vehicle southbound on 10th Street West at pretty low speeds. It was approximately 10 mph to 30 mph.”
Wupperfeld said they decided to execute a PIT maneuver once the vehicle entered the Walmart parking lot.
“We couldn’t execute the PIT maneuver on 10th because there was too much traffic,” Wupperfeld said.
The Scion was brought to a stop just after 5 p.m. near the Walmart in the 40100 block of 10th Street West.
Soundara surrendered, and he and Mitchell were immediately taken into custody. It was unclear if any weapons were recovered.
Before the Scion was stopped, several of its tires had been deflated by spike strips, but Soundara kept driving, although at slow rates of speed.