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Orange County Digest

Santa Ana : SWAT Team Captures Suspect Who Escaped

March 27, 1987

A robbery suspect who escaped from police after striking an officer was arrested Thursday by a SWAT team that surrounded his house, police said.

David Ortiz, 22, surrendered to authorities at 1:30 p.m. after refusing to come out of his house in the 800 block of North Freeman Street for more than an hour, Anaheim Police Lt. Peter DePaola said.

The SWAT team was called because police believed that Ortiz was armed, but a later search of his house did not turn up any weapons, DePaola said. Ortiz was alone in the house at the time, he said.

Ortiz was arrested on suspicion of robbery and auto theft, escape from police custody, and assault and battery on a police officer, DePaola said.

Ortiz fled after striking an officer inside an emergency room at the Western Medical Center in Anaheim, where he was being treated for dog bites sustained during his initial arrest at 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Anaheim Police Lt. Steve Brace said.

Ortiz initially was arrested by Anaheim police after the owner of the car notified authorities that his vehicle had been stolen at knifepoint while he was parking in his driveway in the 800 block of West Wilhelmina Street in Anaheim, DePaola said.

Police said that during the ensuing chase, Ortiz abandoned the car and attempted to flee on foot. But after a search by police aided by dogs, Ortiz was apprehended.

He was taken to an emergency room to treat minor dog bites. But as his handcuffs were unlocked, Ortiz allegedly struck a police officer and fled from the hospital, DePaola said.

Brace said police traced Ortiz back to his apartment using information from his parole officer. Ortiz has a prior record but DePaola could not release further information.

Ortiz is being held in an Anaheim detention facility on $50,000 bail.

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