News Releases

January 5, 2018: Couple Charged with Fleeing Police in U-Haul Vehicle

Contact: 
Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer
213-257-2000

A woman and man who led police on a lengthy pursuit that ended with a car collision in Montebello have been charged today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Trisha Marie Martinez (dob 5/11/93) has been charged with five counts in case VA146661: driving or taking a vehicle without consent; receiving a stolen vehicle, trailer, construction equipment or vessel; fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle while driving; hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage; and driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.

Martinez’s co-defendant, Harold Brian Escobar (dob 11/13/88), has been charged with two counts: receiving a stolen vehicle, trailer, construction equipment or vessel; and fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle while driving.

The charging document also alleges that Escobar was previously convicted of second-degree burglary in 2010 and carjacking in 2017.

The two defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 5 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Downey Branch. Prosecutors are asking that bail be set at $100,000 for Martinez and $200,000 for Escobar.

Prosecutors said on Jan. 3, officers reportedly observed a U-Haul rental truck running through a stop sign. When authorities checked the vehicle’s license plate, they discovered the truck had been stolen, according to prosecutors.

Police attempted to pull the car over, however, the suspect driver allegedly did not completely stop the vehicle and a police pursuit ensued, prosecutors added.

The pursuit continued on several surface streets and freeways, but ultimately ended when the truck collided with another vehicle in Montebello, according to prosecutors.

At that point, law enforcement took both Martinez and Escobar into custody.

If convicted as charged, Martinez faces a maximum possible sentence of four years and eight months in state prison, while Escobar faces eight years and four months in prison.

The case is being investigated by the Bell Gardens Police Department.