By Associated Press - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on a rape suspect who killed himself during a California freeway chase (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Police have identified a rape suspect who poisoned himself during a California freeway chase.

Los Angeles police say they’d been looking to arrest 33-year-old Jonathan Hanks of Camarillo in connection with the rape of an underage victim earlier this month when they spotted his car Wednesday morning.

The LAPD asked the California Highway Patrol for help. CHP Officer Kevin Denharder says a chase began when officers tried to pull over Hanks’ car in Oxnard.

After about six miles, the car crossed lanes and struck a center divider on Interstate 101 in Ventura. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Denharder says during the chase, he was seen drinking something that was later determined to be salt and potassium cyanide.


2:20 p.m.

The California Highway Patrol says a rape suspect who killed himself during a freeway chase drank cyanide.

Officer Kevin Denharder says the man, a Camarillo resident in his 30s, was found dead Wednesday morning after his car crashed into the center median of Interstate 101 in Ventura.

The CHP says Los Angeles police asked for help in stopping the Nissan Versa in neighboring Oxnard but the driver instead took off and led officers on a six-mile chase.

Denharder says the man was seen drinking something during the pursuit before the car drifted across northbound lanes and crashed.

He says it was determined the man had taken a mixture of salt and potassium cyanide.

The man’s identity hasn’t been released.


11:38 p.m.

A rape suspect died after poisoning himself during a freeway chase in Southern California on Wednesday, authorities said.

The pursuit began during the morning commute in Ventura County when officers tried to pull the man over and he sped away, the California Highway Patrol said.

The car drove onto the right shoulder of U.S. 101, drifted across all northbound lanes and then came to a stop after crashing into the center median, CHP Officer Kevin Denharder said.

Officers found the man dead inside the car from an apparent self-inflicted poisoning, Denharder said. He was not identified.

Television news footage showed a Nissan Versa stopped against a barrier surrounded by fire and police vehicles, including an armored SWAT truck. A firefighter wore a gas mask during an initial inspection of the suspect’s vehicle.

The suspect was described as a man who was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department for his possible involvement in a rape, Denharder said. The LAPD could not immediately provide additional details.

Several freeway lanes were closed during the investigation near Oxnard, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of downtown Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide