Suspect in 3-hour pursuit was 'ex-felon on post release community supervision,' police say

A 29-year-old Buena Park man was in custody Thursday after leading law enforcement officers on a three-hour chase through Los Angeles and Orange counties before he pulled into a shopping center and ran into a 99 Cents Only store, where he was arrested at gunpoint.

Alexis Avinai was booked on suspicion of domestic violence and felony evading, according to the South Gate Police Department. He was held on $125,000 bail.

Police said Avinai is an "ex-felon on post release community supervision.''

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According to police, Avinai was accompanied in the car by his girlfriend, who was treated for unspecified injuries and taken to a hospital in stable condition. Her name was not released.

The chase began about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday near Firestone Boulevard and California Avenue in South Gate.

Police were informed of a dispute between a man and a woman in the car and the driver took off when an officer spotted and approached the vehicle, South Gate Police Capt. Darren Arakawa told reporters.

During the chase the woman was seen struggling with the man, and a few times opened the passenger-side door, but did not get out as the car kept moving.

The suspect drove on streets and freeways, running red lights and at times taking to the wrong side of the street, narrowly missing other vehicles and pedestrians. He drove into Orange County before heading back to Los Angeles County. At one point, he drove through a park and plowed through a fence.

South Gate police chased the car for a time before the California Highway Patrol took the lead.

It appeared an officer in a CHP cruiser was moving into position to attempt a PIT maneuver and at one point the patrol car made contact with the rear of the Honda, but the suspect drove on.

About three hours after the chase began, the suspect pulled into a parking space and ran into a 99 Cents Only store near the intersection of Nogales Street and Colima Road in Rowland Heights, prompting people to stream out of the business.

Officers ran into the store with rifles drawn and soon after the suspect was led out in handcuffs.

CNS contributed to this report.