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Who Is Stephen Houk? RV Chase In California For Registered Sex Offender

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In this photo, an LAPD officer looks at a car at the unveiling of two new Ford Fusion hybrid pursuit-rated Police Responder cars at the Police Department headquarters in Los Angeles, California, April 10, 2017. Photo: Getty Images / David McNew

By Riddhima Kanetkar, International Business Times - Business

A chase involving a man driving with his two children in a recreational vehicle (RV) was turned into a standoff after leading police officials on an hour-long pursuit across the freeway in Los Angeles and into Kern County on Tuesday.

According to CBS-affiliate television station KBAK-TV, the suspect was confirmed as Stephen Houk, a 46-year-old Caucasian male, a registered sex offender from Oregon who is currently on parole, said Deputy Juanita Navarro from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Reports state that the vehicle pursuit started at around 2:30 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. EDT) in the mid-city Wilshire area in Los Angeles when Houk fled in a motor home with his two children, aged 3 years and 11 months old, and refused to stop until he dropped off his children to their mother.

The pursuit was later taken over by California Highway Patrol when Houk continued to flee in a motorhome, going north on Interstate 5.

Kevin Tao, a public information officer for California Highway Patrol’s Southern Division confirmed that the RV stopped near an orchard at Merced Avenue and Zerker Road in a rural area in Bakersfield at around 5:56 p.m. local time (8:56 p.m. EDT) from where Houk fled the scene.

At around 7:10 p.m. local time (11:10 p.m. EDT) California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Rodriguez confirmed the 3-year-old was out of the RV and safe. Rodriguez added the police were trying to be as patient as possible with the driver as it was believed the other 11-month-old child was still inside the RV. He was later rescued.

The Sheriff’s Department also confirmed that both the children were biologically related to Houk.

Houk has fled the scene of the incident and a manhunt is currently underway to catch him. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Unit also said Houk is believed to be armed and also wanted by authorities for “evading child abduction, child endangerment, and weapons violation."

This is a developing story.

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