Yesterday, at 3:00 p.m., an Azusa Police Officer attempted to stop a 1999 Honda Civic on Mauna Loa Street, near Citrus Avenue, for having expired registration tags. Unknown to the officer, the Honda had been stolen from Temple City, the day before.
The driver, Marcus Paul Flores, led the officer on a 3/4 of a mile chase, that ultimately ended when Flores crashed into a parked vehicle in the 900 block of East Haltern Avenue. Both Flores and his passenger, Hugo Albert Ramirez, ran from the officers, into the property of the Powell Elementary School
located at 1035 E. Mauna Loa Street. The school staff immediately placed the school on "lock-down," confining the students to their classrooms.
Flores was quickly apprehended by arriving officers, while Ramirez ran north through the school, and into a large apartment complex in the 300 block of N. Calera Avenue. Police officers immediately surrounded the apartment complex, and conducted an extensive foot search for Ramirez. The officers' diligence paid off, when they located Ramirez trying to conceal himself in a trash dumpster enclosure.
None of the children at Powell Elementary School were in immediate danger during this incident.
Marcus Paul Flores (Age 21) of Pomona and Hugo Albert Ramirez (Age 23) of Duarte were arrested, transported and booked at the Azusa Police Department's Jail. Flores was booked for grand theft auto and a no-bail parole warrant. Ramirez was booked for resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer. Since Ramirez is on probation, another charge for violating the terms of his probation was added to his list of charges.
Your Safety Is Our Primary Concern
Azusa Police Officers frequently train on the use of their vehicles during emergency situations and pursuits. In fact, you can read about some of that training by clicking here.
We would like to remind you that should you see a police pursuit approaching your vehicle as you travel on the roadway, please do not attempt to interfere or help us in any manner. The suspect's actions are un-predictable, and they do not adhere to the same rules of driving we do.
Secure Your Vehicle
Make sure to lock your doors and roll your windows up whenever you park your vehicle. Take the keys with you, also. You can't imagine how many auto thefts occur each year because people leave the keys in the ignition. Also, consider using a theft deterrent device, such as a steering wheel lock. Last, park in well lit and populated areas.
When a potentially dangerous situation evolves in the immediate vicinity of a school, we work closely with the Azusa Unified School District to make sure safety precautions are taken to ensure the safety of the students. Our first and foremost concern is for the safety of those students.
In the event you receive information that your child's school is on lock-down, please know that our department works diligently at keeping the school district appraised of the progress of the situation.
Stay Connected With Us
We ask you remain calm during critical situations, and stay connected to us through social media, as we will often update the status of events through our emergency messaging system, Twitter and Facebook. To learn more about the various ways to stay connected with us, click here.