Updated (With Video): Police Activity Shuts Down PCH Again

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Crash at Malibu Canyon Road

For the second time in recent weeks, the intersection of Malibu Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway became ground zero for law enforcement activity, as a fleeing carjacker left a path of destruction along Pacific Coast Highway before being captured near Pepperdine, this time during Monday morning rush hour.

The suspect is alleged to have been involved in a robbery and attempted kidnapping in the Pacific Palisades area, along with a series of car accidents as he fled from Pacific Palisades to Malibu.

A report by the Palisadian Post named the suspect as Brian Cruz, a 44-year-old from Los Angeles.

The events began in Pacific Palisades early Monday morning, according to Sgt. Montelibrano, watch commander at Los Angeles Police Department-West.

Montelibrano said the suspect first broke into an apartment unit and held an elderly female at knife-point and demanded that she drive him in her car.

The female followed his order to drive, but as she got behind the wheel she made a split-second decision in the hopes of preserving her safety.

“The elderly female intentionally crashed her vehicle against a construction site near Palisades High School,” said Montelibrano.

Cruz then exited the elderly woman’s vehicle and allegedly carjacked a young female in her vehicle at the school, fleeing the scene in her Toyota Corolla.

Not very far away, authorities said Cruz crashed into four parked cars, disabling the Corolla. 

He then allegedly attempted a second home invasion, breaking into a home occupied by two female residents and reportedly stealing the keys to their Lexus.

It was at this point that the suspect began his ill-fated course that led him to his eventual arrest by deputies from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station.

The LAPD reportedly reached out to Malibu Sheriff’s Deputies with a description of the vehicle, which at the time was headed toward the Malibu area.

“Malibu units were not in pursuit,” said Malibu/Lost Hills Station Lt. James Royal. “They were just responding … to the area in search of the suspects vehicle, and to reports of a collision possibly caused by this guy.”

The timeline of events, according to Royal, was that just after 8 a.m., the vehicle, a white late-model Lexus, was involved in a collision on westbound PCH, just west of Webb Way in Malibu. The collision caused no serious injuries. The vehicle then fled.

When the accident was called in and the car matched the description given by LAPD, Sheriffs set out to locate the vehicle. 

Cruz’s vehicle then was involved in another collision on westbound PCH that again did not result in serious injury.

Finally, at the intersection of PCH and Malibu Canyon Road, Cruz’s vehicle was involved in a “nearly head-on” crash that resulted in more serious injuries.

“The deputies came upon the collision site at Malibu Canyon and PCH, at which point they saw the suspect vehicle and took them into custody,” said Royal.

Two victims, a mother and her 15-year-old son, were airlifted to UCLA Westwood Medical Center and the suspect was taken to the same hospital via ground transportation.

According to Montelibrano, the mother complained of pain to her right wrist, while the son sustained a fracture on his right shoulder.

Cruz reportedly complained of pain to his ribs and right elbow, but was cleared after a few hours in the hospital and taken into police custody.

“He was taken into custody at Malibu Canyon and PCH and transferred by ground to UCLA Westwood, where he was taken into custody by LAPD,” said Royal.

This was the second time in less than a month that an alleged crime spree has ended in the area of Malibu Canyon Road and PCH. On Wednesday, July 30, an alleged kidnapping suspect led authorities on a chase through Chatsworth, Topanga and Malibu before fleeing through Malibu Bluffs Park at PCH and Malibu Canyon Road. Traffic was snarled and authorities were in a standoff with the suspect, Behzad Hashemi, for several hours that evening before he was finally captured.