LOS ANGELES – Police announced the arrest Tuesday in the Christmas Day death of a 24-year-old woman at a South Los Angeles street takeover.
Dante Chapple Young, 28, a resident of Orange County, was captured in New Mexico after they say he took elaborate steps to avoid capture.
Two other suspects remain at large.
“Some of the things that were done, some of the tactics he used to evade capture, it was literally like you were watching a movie,” said LAPD Det. Ryan Moreno. “It was a game of chess, if you will.”
Young is in custody in Alberquerque, N.M. awaiting extradition. Moreno said it took help from the FBI and authorities in New Mexico to track him down and make the arrest.
“This person obviously was on the run. He didn’t want to be caught and went through a journey, a lot of traveling to get away from this, from this crime.”
“I just want to say that my daughter was a beautiful soul,” the victim’s mother, Loraine Guajaca, said. “She had a heart of gold. And we will truly miss her. She was just a beautiful person all around.”
Elyzza Guajaca, a nursing student, was fatally struck by a driver involved in the street takeover, which occurred around 9 p.m. Dec. 25 at the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue.
Police said Guajaca was standing with a group of people on the northeast corner of the intersection when she was struck by a black Chevrolet Camaro that was doing “doughnuts” during the street takeover.
She died at a hospital. The driver of the Camaro abandoned the vehicle and ran away, police said.
Police later released cell phone and surveillance images showing possible additional victims, and touted a $50,000 reward for information leading to the driver, while also asking anyone else who may have been injured to come forward.
Detectives allegedly identified at least six or seven additional victims who appeared to have been injured by the vehicle, thanks to videos from the scene. Some of them appeared to have been critically injured, authorities said.
LAPD Detective Ryan Moreno told reporters in December that the department is doing what it can to crack down on street takeovers, and would like to see people face harsher penalties.
“I know one thing we’re trying to do is trying to mirror some other cities where they take cars and they crush the cars, the cars are gone,” Moreno said. “Right now our thing is we do the 30-day thing, take them for 30 days. And it is affecting it somewhat, but there’s a lot, a lot going on, it’s a lot. You guys see it’s pretty widespread, a lot of people involved. On this night, there was probably I would say close to 200 folks, if not more, in the intersection.”
Guajaca’s brother Louie said her sister was an aunty to his beautiful girls who loved her.
“She was a beautiful sister who loved big,” he said. “She was a daughter who always wanted to be with (family) around and have family time. She was the rock to our family. She was just a good, goofy, funny, outgoing person. She loved all her close friends and family.”
Anyone with any information on the crash was urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip.
City News Service contributed to this report.