Man arrested after taking hostage, 2 car chases

McFARLAND, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A man suspected of stealing a vehicle was arrested Monday morning after a hostage situation and a pair of violent car chases.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office said officers spotted a man driving a stolen vehicle around 4 a.m. and gave chase. The driver, later identified as 26-year-old Luis Patricio Pedroza, didn't stop and hit a McFarland police car during the pursuit.

The car chase ended on a Highway 99 frontage road, and Pedroza ran to the 400 block of Industrial Street in McFarland, the sheriff's office said. There, Pedroza broke into a home and held a woman at knifepoint. Pedroza drove from the house with the woman still at knifepoint before tossing his hostage from her stolen, moving car, the sheriff's office said.

Pedroza tried to get back on Hwy. 99, but the sheriff's office stopped him, not before he crashed with another patrol car. Pedroza ditched the second stolen car and ran to a highway underpass, where officers caught and arrested him.