News Releases

November 30, 2018: Two Men Charged with Robbery, Fleeing Police Through Downtown Los Angeles

Paul Eakins, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Two men have been charged with robbery and fleeing police in a chase this week across freeways and downtown streets before ending in Echo Park, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today. 

Christian Manuel Cuevas (dob 3/3/83) of Las Vegas and Enrique Edward Rugelio (dob 2/19/88) of Highland Park pleaded not guilty yesterday afternoon in case BA473252, which was filed earlier that day. They are charged with one felony count each of second-degree robbery, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly and fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle and driving against traffic.

Cuevas also faces one felony count each of possession of a firearm by a felon and carrying an unregistered, loaded handgun. The complaint includes allegations that Rugelio has prior felony convictions.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Dec. 12 in Department 34 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

According to prosecutors, Cuevas and Rugelio went to an auto repair shop in Highland Park on Nov. 27 asking to buy a car battery, but instead allegedly took the battery without paying and pointed a gun at the proprietor. After the defendants left, the police were called and officers with the Los Angeles Police Department spotted the vehicle pulling into a gas station.

When officers attempted to detain the men, the pair are accused of fleeing in their car, leading police on a chase on the 210, 5 and 101 freeways and through downtown Los Angeles, prosecutors said. The pursuit ended when the defendants allegedly crashed into a bus bench at Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue.

The pair exited the vehicle and fled on foot but were arrested shortly after, prosecutors said.

Cuevas faces a possible maximum sentence of 17 years and four months in state prison if convicted as charged. Rugelio faces up to 11 years and four months in prison if convicted.

Rugelio was previously convicted of felonies including one count of driving or taking a vehicle without consent in September 2017 in case BA460530 and one count of grand theft of personal property in 2016 in case BA449755, according to the complaint. Cuevas was convicted of attempted battery in Clark County, Nevada, in 2004, the complaint says.

The case remains under investigation by the LAPD, Northeast Division.