A man accused of slamming into the side of a taxi and attempting to elude officers during a pursuit that ended in a Metro rail tunnel was charged Thursday in connection with the high-speed chase.
Rafael Lopez Jr., 27, was charged with fleeing a pursuing officer's motor vehicle while driving recklessly, fleeing while driving against traffic, injury and property damage hit-and-run and vehicle theft counts related to the Tuesday night pursuit through Los Angeles neighborhoods. Arraignment is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
The pursuit began in Huntington Park when police noticed a pickup that had been reported stolen. The driver refused to pull over, leading police on a high-speed pursuit. Aerial video showed the driver on the wrong side of the road and speeding through stop lights.
A taxi driver whose car was T-boned by the pickup at an intersection was hospitalized with injuries.
The driver ended up on Metro Gold Line rail tracks and disappeared into the light rail tunnel, where police said he abandoned the truck.
Authorities found Lopez, later identified as the driver, hiding in a closet inside the tunnel, according to prosecutors. He was subsequently taken into custody and held on $150,000 bail.
A passenger remained at large, police said Wednesday.