Man jailed after police chase car of ‘woman’

Man jailed after police chase car of ‘woman’

Larry Altman DAILY BREEZE

Police credited a good Samaritan on Friday with warning a young traffic controller to jump out of the way as a man — who all day purported himself to be a woman — raced at 80 mph through a Palos Verdes Estates intersection to elude an officer.

Investigators were baffled as to why the driver, who first identified himself as female Paolo Suas, 24, of Redondo Beach, raced away from an officer at 8:15 a.m. and hurtled toward the teenager directing traffic at Palos Verdes Drive West and Via Corta.

He later admitted to being Alexander Roman, who did not have a driver’s license, but otherwise had no known criminal record, Palos Verdes Estates police Capt. Mark Velez said.

“When asked why she decided to run, she said, ‘I’m scared,’ ” Velez said. “It’s a little kind of a mystery. It came so close to disaster.”

The incident began when a police officer began investigating a car parked illegally in the 800 block of Paseo del Mar, Velez said. The police officer took the passenger from the car to speak with him, and the suspected female driver at the time drove away.

The police officer gave chase, but lost the car.

Moments later, a motorist in a white truck started yelling at a police intern directing traffic. The motorist could see a car racing toward the intersection. The motorist’s action prompted the intern to jump out of the way as the red Toyota Celica sped through, Velez said.

“If this good Samaritan didn’t yell to get out of the way, there could have been a nasty accident there,” Velez said.

Although police were not behind the car, Roman continued to Via Palomino and Via Navajo and abandoned the car.

Police officers soon arrived, directed by a gardener who saw the long-haired man run into a yard. Roman was arrested hiding under some brush.

Roman gave his name as Suas, a woman who did not show up in any fingerprint checks. Later, when it came time to go to jail, Roman provided his real name and admitted his real gender, Velez said.

Officers, meanwhile, want to learn the name of the good Samaritan who warned the intern to get out of the way. The motorist drove away.

“We would like to meet this person so we can thank (him),” Velez said. “The chief would like this person to come forward so we can recognize his actions. He might have saved this kid’s life.”

Copyright Copley Press Inc. 2004

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