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Long Beach : 3 Teen-Agers Held After Allegedly Hitting School Bus

April 22, 1993

Three teen-agers accused of crashing into a school bus while fleeing police in a stolen car remained in custody Wednesday.

The car broadsided the bus carrying 36 students home from Gant Elementary School on Monday afternoon. Three children, ages 7, 8 and 10, were treated for neck pains at St. Mary Medical Center and released.

The bus was turning left on Pacific Coast Highway from Temple Avenue when a white Toyota Cressida ran a red light and slammed into the side of the bus about 2:45 p.m, said Long Beach police spokesman Bob Anderson.

Patrol officers tried to stop the driver after determining the car was stolen. The Toyota was speeding when it hit the bus, but police did not know how fast the Toyota or the pursuing patrol car were traveling, Anderson said.

The 16-year-old passenger in the front seat was pinned in the car. He was treated for injuries at Long Beach Community Hospital before being taken into custody, Anderson said. The driver, Cheang Rung, and passenger Chalang Phuong, both 18, leaped from the car and ran in opposite directions, said witnesses who helped catch them.

"I heard the crash, came out of my house and I saw the guy coming toward me. Somebody was running after him and yelled, 'Get him!' " said Martin Schipper, 30, who lives on Temple. "I jumped on his back and took him down."

Meanwhile, on Pacific Coast Highway, Mark Etheridge was working on a motorcycle at Moto Guzzi Classics and saw a second suspect running.

"I heard the cops yelling: 'Stop! Police!' But he was ahead of them. I ran really quick, thinking I could cut him off," Etheridge said. Etheridge grabbed the youth's shirt, but it ripped as he jumped over a wall.

Police found the suspect nearby with the help of police dogs, Etheridge said.

Phuong and Rung, both of Long Beach, were arrested on charges of auto theft and felony hit and run, according to Anderson. Rung also faces charges of evading police, he said.

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