Carjacking suspect taken down by K-9 after wild Orange County chase

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) — A chase and carjacking suspect was taken down by a police K-9 after trying to run away from officers in Orange County Monday afternoon.

The shirtless man was quickly surrounded and taken into custody. His face was covered as he was wheeled away on a gurney after he spit at the officers. His capture ended the wild pursuit.

“I saw that he was taking my sister out of the car and just reacted and tried to help and pull him out of the car,” Ricky Kozlowski said.

Kozlowski stopped his car on an Irvine street and ran to help his sister when he saw the suspect jump out of a pickup truck and pull her out of her black Audi. Kozlowski tried to stop the man.

“Once she was out safely, and I tried to pull him out of the car, just to stop him,” he said.

But the man stepped on the accelerator – nearly pinning Kozlowski between two vehicles as the suspect sped away.

“That was when my sister was yelling at me, saying I needed to get out of the way,” Kozlowski said.

Police in Garden Grove had been searching for 37-year-old Antonio Padilla Jr for a week after he was suspected of nearly running over an officer who had stopped him for a traffic violation.

Detectives spotted Padilla’s truck Monday afternoon in Santa Ana, and that’s when the chase started. Padilla drove recklessly and hit several vehicles before carjacking 22-year-old Janel Kozlowski.

The chase finally ended after Padilla bailed out of the car. He was also wanted for a parole violation, authorities said. Padilla was then taken to a hospital for treatment after suffering the bite from the K-9.

“I’m just thankful everyone is OK. Just thankful that she was OK. I was OK and that nothing bad happened to us,” Kozlowski said.

Padilla’s girlfriend, who was a passenger in the pickup truck, was also arrested. Padilla faces several felony charges.

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