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Orange County

Driver Evades Checkpoint, Is Chased Down

June 08, 2004|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

A pickup driver who authorities said was smuggling six immigrants failed to stop at the San Clemente immigration checkpoint Monday and was arrested after he nearly hit a sheriff's deputy with his vehicle.

Fabian Lupercio Rivas, 23, of Baja California, Mexico, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer after he tried to hit a sheriff's deputy with a vehicle, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Rivas and an accomplice, Eusebio Mejia, 31, of North Hollywood, avoided authorities during a 10-minute chase on Interstate 5 through San Clemente and into Mission Viejo.

After exiting the freeway at Avery Parkway, Amormino said, Rivas tried to make a U-turn in a cul-de-sac.

Instead, he narrowly missed a sheriff's sergeant before colliding with two sheriff's vehicles, Amormino said.

Rivas and Mejia then fled, running through a creek bed before jumping a fence and crossing all lanes of the freeway. They were arrested near Oso Parkway.

The six undocumented immigrants in the truck were turned over to the United States Border Patrol.

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