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Chase Ends With Arrest of Suspect in Killing of Ex-INS Agent Near Santa Ana

Crime: Gregory Pisarcik, who led police in a pursuit Sunday through Ventura County, is expected to be booked in the slaying.

July 02, 2002|TIMOTHY HUGHES and DAVID HALDANE | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

An unemployed sales clerk arrested after leading police on a chase on Ventura County freeways was expected to be booked late Monday in connection with the beating death of a retired immigration agent near Santa Ana, authorities said.

Gregory Michael Pisarcik, 25, is a suspect in the murder and robbery of Narciso Leggs Jr., 53, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Leggs' body was found by sheriff's deputies Saturday inside his garage apartment on Irvine Boulevard.

The victim was bound and gagged and had been tortured, investigators said. Leggs' landlord had called police after not seeing his tenant for two days.

An autopsy indicated that Leggs died at least two days earlier from blunt-force trauma to the head, Amormino said.

Robbery was the likely motive for the attack, Amormino said. The victim's apartment had been ransacked and several personal items stolen.

Pisarcik was arrested late Sunday after a two-hour chase that began in Ojai when he refused a deputy's order to pull over for questioning. Pisarcik was driving the victim's late-model Lincoln Continental. Authorities were alerted by a man whose daughter saw a man changing the license plates on the car at a Ventura shopping center.

Amormino said Orange County sheriff's detectives believe Pisarcik is linked to robberies in recent months in several south Orange County beach communities.

"We are asking for help on this," Amormino said. "We suspect that he may have been involved in robberies of gay men."

Leggs, who retired in 1997 after 22 years with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, lived in a converted garage apartment in an unincorporated area between Tustin and Santa Ana. Neighbor Jody Preston-White, 41, said she often saw Leggs polishing his two prized automobiles--the Lincoln and a mauve Rolls-Royce.

Witnesses told investigators that in recent weeks Pisarcik had been a frequent visitor to Leggs' apartment, he said.

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