Suspect arrested after carjacking, pursuit in Mesa

Posted: Updated:
Juan Carlos Soto-Hernandez By Jennifer Thomas Juan Carlos Soto-Hernandez By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police arrested an 18-year-old after they say he carjacked a vehicle then led officers on a pursuit Thursday night.

Sgt. Ed Wessing said Juan Carlos Soto-Hernandez was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun when he reportedly carjacked a red Jeep Cherokee near McKellips and Recker roads.

Officers tried to stop Soto-Hernandez near McKellips Road and Loop 202, but he failed to yield.

Wessing said Soto-Hernandez led police and Department of Public Safety officers on a pursuit along the Beeline Highway then back into Mesa. At one point, officers deployed stop sticks, but the suspect continued driving despite flattened tires.

Soto-Hernandez attempted to avoid officers and drove southbound into the northbound lanes on Country Club Drive, striking vehicles at the Loop 202 and at First Street.

An officer conducted a PIT maneuver on the Cherokee near Country Club Drive and Eighth Avenue and Soto-Hernandez was taken into custody.

Soto-Hernandez was booked for several felonies including aggravated assault, failure to yield and robbery. Police said he is a documented gang member.