High-speed chase ends with standoff, suspect's forced surrender

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by azfamily.com

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 19 at 12:12 PM

Map: Nevada and Isabella
(Near Horne and U.S. 60)

View larger map

MESA, Ariz. -- A driver led police on a high-speed pursuit through the East Valley Monday morning.

According to Gilbert police, this started Sunday night when 25-year-old Brandon Gonzaga allegedly threatened his girlfriend at her workplace. Officers lost him, but he was spotted Monday morning.

Gonzaga hit speeds of 100 mph, ran several lights and veered into oncoming traffic numerous times. While there were a number of near misses, there were no immediate reports of injuries during the pursuit, which went on for about 20-30 minutes.

"I realized he must be going about 80 miles an hour so I just pulled off into the grass hoping that the HOA wouldn't kill me," said Gilbert resident Tiffany Quackenbush. "A lot of us are really lucky this morning. There were a lot of kids going to school that early."

At one point, officers attempted to stop the car by throwing out Stop Sticks, but the driver was able to avoid them.

The chase appeared to come to an end next to a building at Nevada Way and Isabella Avenue, which is southeast of Horne and U.S. 60. While he did stop, the driver did not surrender, instead touching off a standoff.

The building reportedly was evacuated as a precaution.

Aerial video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed the stopped car with several officers, guns drawn, behind it. Gonzaga, who appeared to be armed, refused to get out of the car despite officers' orders. He even appeared to wave to the chopper.

A short time later, the officers pulled back and SWAT moved in to continue negotiating with the suspect, who appeared to be alone in the car.

Gonzaga reportedly had threatened to shoot himself and refused to surrender.

SWAT officers shot what appeared to be a smoke bomb or tear gas into the car, forcing the man out at about 9:30 a.m. The man rolled out of the car to the ground and was taken into custody without further incident.

 

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