California

Rape suspect led police on a car chase. Then he killed himself with poison, officers say

California Highway Patrol ensued a stolen Cal Fire truck through Santa Maria, ending the pursuit in Santa Barbara County.
California Highway Patrol ensued a stolen Cal Fire truck through Santa Maria, ending the pursuit in Santa Barbara County. Evan Beaver

A man suspected of rape led police on a car chase in Ventura County on Wednesday morning, then killed himself by ingesting poison before he could be apprehended, authorities said.

About 7:30 a.m., Los Angeles police told the California Highway Patrol that undercover officers were pursuing a rape suspect who was driving a black Nissan Versa, the Los Angeles Times reported. CHP officers saw the suspect heading north on Highway 101 in Oxnard and gave chase, according to KTLA.

The CHP pursued the man into Ventura, where he drove toward the right shoulder just north of Seaward Avenue and then veered across all three lanes of the highway before hitting the center divider, KTLA reported.

The man was pronounced dead just before 8 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Times. Police discovered a liquid in the car and concluded the man poisoned himself.

“At some point during that chase, he ingested some form of cyanide poisoning,” Ninette Toosbuy of the Los Angeles Police Department told the Ventura County Star.

The Ventura County Star reported that the suspect is a 33-year-old Camarillo man who was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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