COSTA MESA, Calif (July 20, 2021) – The Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) yesterday arrested four men after a traffic stop turned into a short high-speed pursuit and a yard-to-yard search.
On Monday, July 19, 2021, at approximately 12:15 p.m., a CMPD officer was patrolling the parking lot at the 3300 block of Bristol Street when he observed a white sedan with dark tinted windows. The officer stopped the vehicle for the Vehicle Code 26708(a)(1) violation and contacted the driver and three passengers. The driver, later identified as Dennis Junior Johnson, 25, Los Angeles, did not have any form of ID and did not truthfully identify himself.
As the officer opened the driver’s door and asked Johnson to step out of the vehicle, Johnson drove away at a high rate of speed. The vehicle drove south on Bear Street, driving on the shoulder of the roadway, crossing the center median, and driving into oncoming traffic. Officers pursued the vehicle, which went through a red light and reached a speed of over 80 mph. There were no injuries or collisions during the pursuit.
As the officers reached the intersection of Bear and Baker Streets, they lost sight of the vehicle. The vehicle was located in the intersection of Bear Street and St. Clair Street after it hit a curb and crashed into a stop sign. Johnson and the three occupants fled from the vehicle. Witnesses saw the subjects run west into the neighborhood. A handgun was located in the roadway near the suspect vehicle.
Officers established a perimeter in the neighborhood and conducted a yard-to-yard search. Johnson was located in the 800 block of Sonora Road. Two passengers, Myles Edward Rutledge and Naypone Malik Gaines, both 22 from Los Angeles, were found hiding together in a backyard in the 2800 block of Drake Avenue. Officers found Dvaryae Deshawn Bryant, 18, Los Angeles, hiding in a storage bin in the back yard of a home in the 800 block of Santiago Road.
The officer who had stopped the vehicle identified all the subjects. The four were arrested and booked on evading police, obstruction, and felon in possession of a firearm.
We would like to thank the observant witnesses that assisted us with helpful information. We would also like to thank the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for assisting us with K9 services and the Anaheim Police Department for assisting us with the use of their helicopter, Angel.
Anyone who may have additional information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Jerad Korte at 714-754-5051 or Detective Sergeant Monique Beckner at 714-754-5352.