Written by AARON CASTREJON
LOS ANGELES - The suspect who allegedly rammed into the doors of a Montebello JC Penny and assaulted officers during a subsequent chase entered his plea March 12.
Tom Rojas, 37, pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of assault upon a peace officer, one felony count each of fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle while driving recklessly, vandalism causing more than $400 in damage and hit-and-run driving causing property damage, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney Public Information Officer Paul Eakins.
Police began pursuing him after responding to a burglary call at The Shops Montebello, 1600 Town Center Dr., around 3 a.m. March 9. A vehicle was seen crashing into one of the store fronts, Montebello Police said.
Rojas allegedly fled the scene, but was found later at Paramount and Whittier boulevards in Pico Rivera.
Rojas allegedly drove recklessly along surface streets and tried to strike other vehicles and police vehicles on the road, Montebello Police said.
The pursuit ended with police gunfire near Dittman Avenue and Indiana Street after a K9 took Rojas down.
No officers were injured.
Rojas faces a possible maximum sentence of eight years and two months in state prison if convicted as charged, Eakins said.