California standoff ends when domestic violence suspect escapes

Police chased the suspect in his SUV for hours.

Police chased the suspect in his SUV for hours.  (Fox 11)

Fog may have aided the escape of a driver who led police on a televised slow-speed chase and then engaged them in an hours-long standoff while a woman and two young boys were in his SUV, authorities said Tuesday.

Visibility was too low for helicopters to fly Monday night, so officers on the ground did not have any physical or infrared backup in the sky during the escape.

"The victims are safe. The suspect is still at large," Newport Beach police Sgt. Rachel Johnson said.

The name of the 35-year-old man was not released. Police said he has distinctive tattoos on both sides of his neck.

The relationship of the man to the woman and boys was unclear. Police said the woman had a restraining order against him.

The chase started around 5 p.m. Monday in Orange County. A couple of hours later, the driver parked his SUV on the side of a road and the standoff began.

The man and children got out of the SUV several times and the driver could be seen speaking on a cellphone every so often.

The Orange County Register says the man ran off about 10 p.m. and has not been found. Police tape around the area was taken down and the neighborhood returned to normal, though residents were asked to check their home security.

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