Third Suspect in Alleged Desert Hot Springs Vehicle Pursuit Charged

News Staff

Desert Hot Springs, CA

A passenger who jumped out of a stolen vehicle during a police pursuit in Desert Hot Springs, triggering a brief lockdown of a local elementary school, was charged Tuesday with firearm possession and resisting arrest.

Juan Carlos Dorado, 29, was one of several passengers riding in the car during the pursuit last Thursday afternoon involving Desert Hot Springs police and sheriff’s deputies.

The chase began just before 3 p.m. after police spotted the car — which had no license plates and had been stolen in Nevada — near Palm Drive and Dillon Road, according to DHS police Detective Christopher Tooth.

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The driver, later identified as 22-year-old Angelica Cortina, allegedly refused to pull over, triggering the chase, which ended when Dorado and 24-year-old Christian Salas ran from the car, according to Tooth. Bubbling Wells Elementary School was placed on lockdown while authorities searched for Salas and Dorado, who were taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies on Camino Campanero, just west of the school.

Officers found “numerous rounds of live ammunition and a replica firearm” inside the vehicle, Tooth said. A fourth person inside the car was released and will not face criminal charges, he said. Dorado made his initial court appearance this afternoon, pleading not guilty to all charges.

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Cortina and Salas were both charged and arraigned on Monday.

Cortina is charged with felony evading arrest and firearm possession, while Salas is charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest. He’s also accused of being an accessory in a murder and manslaughter case dating back to March, according to the criminal complaint, which alleges that Salas aided a man in concealing the crimes, the details of which were unavailable.

Cortina and Salas both entered not guilty pleas on Monday afternoon and are due back in court Sept. 7 for a felony settlement conference. Dorado will be back in court on Sept. 8.

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