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One Dead, One Jailed Following Chase and Crash

A man is arrested after police say he crashed into, and killed, an innocent bystander while fleeing from police. We also provide the crime blotter for the week.

A man was taken in custody Sunday following a chase that ended in a crash that left one person dead in Pomona.

Claremont Police are handling the criminal investigation while Pomona Police were handling the crash scene. The name of the suspect was not released as of Monday afternoon.

The Los Angeles County coroner this morning identified the dead motorist as Jesus Bugarin Mercado, 54, of Pomona.

The chase began at 5:40 p.m. in the area of North Towne Avenue and Arrow Highway in Claremont. An officer spotted the suspicious silver pick-up truck, ran the license plate and learned it had been reported stolen out of Rancho Cucamonga, said Claremont Police Sgt. Robert Rauchfuss.

When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, the driver sped off toward Pomona, Rauchfuss said.

But the driver’s attempt to flee was short-lived. About a minute into the pursuit, police said he ran a red light and broadsided another vehicle at North Towne and East La Verne avenues. That vehicle was driven by Mercado.

"The suspect vehicle then struck a tree and the suspect fled on foot," according to a written statement by Claremont Police. Officers were able to chase the suspect down, Rauchfuss said.

“We tried to render aid to the bystander, but were unsuccessful,” Rauchfuss said. Mercado died from his injuries.

The suspect suffered minor to moderate injuries, according to Claremont Police officials. He was treated at a hospital.

Investigators were still working the case of as Monday. The suspect could face charges of evading police, hit and run and manslaughter, officials said.

Saturday, July 21

  • Assault – 9:15 p.m. 24100 block Avenida Rancheros. An assault reportedly occurred during a domestic dispute.

Sunday, July 22

  • Vehicle Break-In/Theft – 1:30 p.m. 21800 block Golden Springs Drive. Thieves stole items out of a vehicle.

Monday, July 23

  • Vehicle Break-In/Theft – 5:30 a.m. 1700 block South Diamond Bar. Thieves stole parts from a vehicle.

Tuesday, July 24

  • Assault – 12:30 a.m. 400 block of North Del Sol. An assault reportedly occurred during a domestic dispute.
  • Motor Vehicle Theft – 9 p.m. 22600 block Drycreek Road. A vehicle was stolen.
  • Assault – 10:45 p.m. 22800 block Hilton Head Drive. An assault reportedly occurred during a domestic dispute.

Wednesday, July 25

  • Burglary – 2 p.m. 20800 block Golden Springs Drive. Burglars broke into a building during the day.
  • Burglary – 3 p.m. 2500 block Castle Rock Road. Burglars broke into a building during the day.

Thursday, July 26

No reports

Friday, July 27

  • Motor Vehicle Theft – 8:15 a.m. 24400 block Rosegate Place. A vehicle was stolen.

Follow @ClaremontPatch for breaking news updates in Claremont and La Verne.

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