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Car Chase Ends with Bagel Customer Tackling Female Fugitive

UPDATE: Authorities cuff a woman in Lake Forest after a bagel shop regular -- who happens to be an off-duty sheriff's deputy -- grabs her. A Laguna Beach passenger is also arrested.

A woman who led authorities on a high-speed chase was arrested Wednesday after she jumped out of her SUV in Lake Forest and was tackled by an off-duty deputy who frequents a nearby bagel shop, according to officials and witnesses.

The pursuit began around 8:30 a.m., after California Highway Patrol officers responded to reports of a disabled SUV along the center divider of the 241 tollway, said the CHP's Sgt. Pines.

When officers pulled up behind the SUV, the driver sped away, officials said. Orange County sheriff's deputies soon joined the pursuit.

One woman recounted the scene on Facebook:

"There was just a high speed chase that ended w/a foot pursuit into the Ralphs parking lot on Lake Forest & Trabuco," Terri Lynn Cole wrote. "A morning regular of Bagels & Brew tackled the girl who ran. Cops cuffed her and took her away."

Witnesses at the scene told Patch the woman, driving a beige SUV, raced down Lake Forest Drive and plowed over some bushes as she drove into the shopping plaza parking lot. She then fled on foot into a CVS pharmacy, where a bagel shop regular followed and grabbed her.

The bagel shop customer turned out to be an off-duty sheriff's deputy, authorities said later. And the SUV was stolen, they said.

Denise Beever said she was driving on Lake Forest Drive when the SUV blew past her.

"I thought, 'My goodness, someone is really in a hurry to get to school,' " she recalled.

Witnesses said the woman had a male passenger who surrendered immediately when deputies approached the vehicle.

Driver Melanie Ybarrondo, 32, of Hemet, and passenger Milo William Parker, 27, of Laguna Beach were arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and evading an officer, the CHP said.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story had Bagels & Brew employees describing the tackler as an airport security worker. He was an off-duty sheriff's deputy.

Michelle Rutherford January 30, 2013 at 07:02 PM
I was wondering what the heck was going on this morning. It's not everyday we have CHP speeding through the streets of Lake Forest. One of the officers scared the crap out of me when he turned the corner so quickly right when the kids were all crossing to get to school. I'm glad someone had the guts to confront her. I'd like to think I would too.
JustUs January 30, 2013 at 08:26 PM
"The woman then fled on foot into a CVS store, where a coffeeshop regular followed and grabbed her." What did he do? Tackle her or grab her? Why tackle a woman in a CVS store? Isn't that a little dramatic? Why not just grab her by the arms? She's a woman afterall. Her places to run are very limited. Was she built like Oprah or something? So much of what I read in news articles these days just baffle me. I just walk away scratching my head. I supposed this cop will be awarded 'hero of the month' by the City Council, eh??
Peter Schelden (Editor) January 30, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Well JustUs, witnesses told me the woman was trying to escape out the back of the pharmacy. I don't know exactly how she was apprehended--I wasn't there--but that's the story I was told.
DagnyTaggart January 30, 2013 at 09:05 PM
JustUs, Trying not to draw the wrong conclusion here as I'm usually a fan of your commentary. Can you expand on what you mean by: "She's a woman after all..."?
LK Forest Homeowner January 30, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Thank you for covering this story! I too had wondered what was going on this morning. Kudo's to your staff - and for those complaining, at least the Patch team covered the story. Its not even made it to the OC register!
JustUs January 30, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Well, thank you Peter. If that was the story you were told why does the article headline say she was "tackled". Did another reporter get that information from someone else? Just curious? But IMO tackling a woman is a little over the top, if that's what happened. It's just confusing when we get 2 different descriptions in the same story. Thanks for responding.
JustUs January 30, 2013 at 09:17 PM
"Trying not to draw the wrong conclusion here as I'm usually a fan of your commentary. Can you expand on what you mean by: "She's a woman after all..."? Why thank you, Dagny. It's not often that I get a compliment thrown my way and it's much appreciated. Women are the weaker sex physically, Dagny. They just are. That's the way we humans were designed. Oh, I know. You can probably find an exception in some female russian shotputter. And if the woman's name running from the vehicle was 'Olga' and she had a 5 o'clock shadow - I would completely understand. But 98% of women are no match for a male, especially a cop. In fact, if the male cop can't handle a woman physically perhaps he should find another occupation. Just my opinion. So if she was 'tackled' I think it was over the top, probably done for the dramatical impact. If she was 'grabbed' then that's fine. That's the way it should be done. That is why I questioned the 'grabbed' vs. 'tackled' description in the story. I hope that explains it, Dagny. Enjoy your day.
JustUs January 30, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Oh I appreciate the article too, LK Forest Homeowner. Don't get me wrong. It's just that when I read an article I don't want a dozen questions swimming around in my mind afterwards. I guess I'm weird in that way. I like clear descriptions of what happened And I think the distinction between "tackled" and "grabbed" is important. Why? Maybe I'm old school, but I just don't think it's necessary to tackle a woman. And for a male cop to do that is laughable to me. Now if he just "grabbed" her - naturally I am fine with that. So I hope I have added some clarity to my previous comment for you.
DagnyTaggart January 30, 2013 at 09:31 PM
JustUs, That a woman is weaker doesn't necessarily mean she's less of a threat. My stats at the shooting range can attest to that. ;) Btw IMO most use of force by law enforcement is excessive and unreasonable...including "tackling" a woman in CVS.
JustUs January 30, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Dagny, and I commend you for your marksmanship. I wish more women would become interested in exercising their 2nd Amendment rights to protect themselves and their families. A gun in the practiced hand of a 5'2 105 pound woman is a great equalized when she's being attacked by a 6'3 210 pound man. I am all for empowering women. My point is that in a hand to hand physical confrontation 98% of women simply can't hang with a male. We humans just aren't wired that way. And cops have extensive training in restraining people. If a cop can't handle a woman except by tacking her - my advice is go sell insurance for a living. We don't need Starsky and Hutch performances with male cops tackling female fugitives. It's really dumb. Anyway, keep shooting straight and for center mass, Dagny! :^)
JustUs January 30, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Peter, are you still there? Are those yellow flowers in the photo victims of the crime? Are there any sentencing enhancements for killing them? Maybe that gives more senationalism to the headlines that the female fugitive was 'tackled'. And it might even elevate the 'hero' status of the one who 'tackled' her. So maybe I was naive and this was all just a marketing thing.
Elle January 31, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Don't understand why the passenger was arrested? Is it illegal to be a passenger?
Homer January 31, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Passengers are placed under arrest until it is determined if / how they are involved in an incident.
JustUs January 31, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Oh, they probably made something up like ...... Cohabitating a moving vehicle with a speeding driver without filing a 911 police report..... or something. There are so many laws they can get very creative. Every year I heard they add another 1000 laws or so. I heard that letting undue noises escape from selective bodily regions while in public areas .... is punishable under the State Health and Safety code.
JustUs January 31, 2013 at 03:27 AM
"Passengers are placed under arrest until it is determined if / how they are involved in an incident." hah. How is that constitutional? So if they catch a bank robber inside the bank they arrest everyone else inside the bank "until it is determined if / how they are involved in an incident"? That's nutty.
Elle January 31, 2013 at 04:07 AM
thanks for the response, homer. was just curious. this will help me to remember to jump out of the car if i'm hitchhiking and the driver does something crazy.
Dave Morris January 31, 2013 at 05:09 AM
Great coverage. The CHP was coming down the wrong way on Lake Forest off the freeway. Of course traffic made no effort to move out of the way of emergency vehicles with lights and sirens. Glad no other bystanders got hurt during the chase
Lady Golfnut January 31, 2013 at 05:20 AM
This is the very first time that a Patch column showed up in my email with comments on the same day! Usually it shows up say on a Wednesday and a dozen or so commenters were from the day before? What is up with that? I hate old news!
Tom February 01, 2013 at 06:33 AM
She could have been armed and dangerous, Im glad he grabbed her and got her arrested, she could have possibly got away out a back door...plus the vehicle was stolen that she was driving...what are ya baffled about..? Cops are just doing their job, on and off duty, I think they should award the guy....you need to pull your head out and recognize when the right actions are done.

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