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Paroled sex offender in RV chase charged with kidnap, abuse

Los Angeles police chase RV possibly with child on board

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - UPDATE: 5/7/2018 4:23 p.m. A paroled sex offender arrested two days after he led police on a wild RV chase with his young children has been charged with kidnapping, assault and a slew of other criminal counts.
    
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Monday that Stephen Houk also faces charges including child abuse, injuring a spouse, fleeing police, and assault with a firearm.
    
The 46-year-old was set to be arraigned later Monday. It's unclear whether he's obtained an attorney.
    
Prosecutors are asking for $1 million bail.

   
Houk was arrested Thursday after being on the run for two days. He escaped into a Bakersfield orchard after leading police on a 100-mile chase in his motor home that began in Hollywood.
    
Houk's 11-month-old and 3-year-old children were inside the RV. They weren't hurt.

UPDATE: 5/4/2018 11:25 a.m. California authorities say a paroled sex offender who led police on a wild 3½-hour motor home chase with his young kids inside told authorities he eluded arrest by running for three hours, shaving his beard and hopping a train headed to Arizona.
    
Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Eddie Hernandez said Friday that 46-year-old Stephen Houk had a meal at a homeless shelter and slept outside a library during his time on the run.
    
Houk was arrested Thursday in the Mojave Desert city of Barstow. He was found in a rail car and arrested.
    
His arrest came two days after he led dozens of officers on a 100-mile (161-kilometer) chase from Hollywood to Bakersfield.
    
Houk escaped when his motor home kicked up blinding dust and he ran into an almond orchard.

UPDATE: 5/4/2018 9:27 a.m. A paroled sex offender has been captured, two days after he escaped police following an hours-long chase on Southern California freeways in a motor home with his two young children inside.
    
Los Angeles County sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida tells The Associated Press that Stephen Houk was taken into custody Thursday afternoon in Barstow.
    
That's about 100 miles (161 kilometers) from where he vanished.
    
Houk led police on a chase Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles after sheriff's deputies tried to talk to him about a report that he'd threatened his wife.
    
Police followed the 46-year-old from Hollywood more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) north to the agricultural heartland of California.
    
Houk stopped in an almond orchard and ran away, vanishing into a cloud of dust kicked up by his vehicle.

UPDATE: 5/2/2018 10:02 a.m. Authorities say a paroled sex offender who remains missing after he led them on an hours-long chase in a motor home with his two young children inside should be considered "armed and dangerous."
    
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday that a manhunt is under way for 46-year-old Stephen Houk.
    
Houk is a registered sex offender on parole for a sex crime in Oregon.
    
Detectives tried to arrest Houk on Tuesday after the sheriff's department says he had a fight with his wife. That led to a chase in Hollywood that lasted for hours before it ended 100 miles (161 kilometers) away in an almond orchard north of Bakersfield.
    
Houk escaped capture. His children were found safe inside the RV and reunited with their mother.

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Police were chasing an armed domestic violence suspect in an RV who is believed to have two young children with him.

The chase initially began on surface streets at normal speeds heading toward the Hollywood area Tuesday (5/1).  The suspect later entered the 101 Freeway and then the 170 heading northbound in the San Fernando Valley.

The suspect was believed to have been involved in a domestic violence incident and had been chased earlier in the day by sheriff's deputies in the Santa Clarita area, until that pursuit was canceled.

Officials say they believe there are possibly two children, ages 11 months and three years, in the RV and the suspect is armed with a gun. The mother of the children reported the domestic violence suspect to deputies.

When the chase reached the Grapevine, Los Angeles helicopters had to abort the chase.

It's unknown when the suspect was apprehended.


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