Probationer accused of fleeing deputies while armed near Lake Elsinore is arraigned

A convicted felon accused of fleeing from sheriff’s deputies in a car reported stolen out of Lake Elsinore, which she crashed in afailed getaway attempt, pleaded not guilty today to felony evading and other charges.

Laura Elizabeth Cardenas, 37, was arrested in October following the pursuit through the unincorporated community of Good Hope.

Along with the evading count, Cardenas is charged with firearm assault, being a felon in possession of a loaded gun and probation violations.

She was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jack Lucky, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Feb. 8 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Cardenas is free on a $120,000 bond.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Seckinger, the defendant allegedly took a 2006 Cadillac CTS from an associate in Lake Elsinore and drove east into Good Hope on the afternoon of Oct. 10.

The victim, whose identity was not disclosed, went after Cardenas in another vehicle and caught up to her in the area of Ellis Avenue and Theda Street, where he tried to persuade her to stop, prompting the probationer to level a handgun at him through the driver’s side window, Seckinger alleged.

The man called 911 on his mobile phone, directing deputies to his location, according to the sergeant. He said deputies found the Cadillac minutes later and signaled Cardenas to stop, but she allegedly floored it instead.

“A pursuit was initiated as the driver fled westbound on Ellis,” Seckinger said. “Deputies observed the suspect and sole occupant of the vehicle throw a handgun from the vehicle. The suspect driver attempted to turn onto Palm Street, but was unable to negotiate the turn and collided into a chain link fence.”

The defendant suffered minor injuries in the crash and was treated at a hospital before being booked into jail. No one else was hurt.

Seckinger said the pistol was found and seized as evidence.

According to court records, Cardenas has prior convictions for possession of controlled substances, vehicle theft and spousal abuse.

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