UPDATE | A middle-aged woman who led police on a car chase that ended on the Long Beach portion of the southbound 710—and resulted in her dogs being taken to a shelter—pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of animal abuse, driving under the influence of alcohol, resisting and obstructing an officer and driving without a valid license, according to the Orange County District Attorney's (DA) Office.
The woman, 47-year-old Tiffany Tobe of La Habra, faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison and two years, six months in jail.
Tobe is facing two separate cases, and will next appear for a pre-trial hearing on January 29. In fact, Tobe was arrested in August of 2015 for failing to appear for a scheduled arraignment after a neighbor reported her for abusing a four-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier named Alan.
“Prior to February 2015, the defendant is accused of failing to properly care for Alan and leaving his hypertrophic osteopathy untreated,” the DA said in a statement. “The defendant is accused of neglecting to seek veterinary assistance for Alan when he had chewed off his own affected foot, exposing the bone.”
She was also accused of staying at the Garden Grove Inn with three additional pit bulls, two of which were puppies. Due to the neighbor’s tip in February, Alan was recovered, and it was discovered he had been missing his foot since October 2014 and suffered other irreversible joint lesions.
Sunny Hills Animal Hospital thus felt it necessary to euthanize him, as he would be suffering severely for the rest of his life. The other pit bulls were impounded, according to the release.
Tobe posted bail on August 17, setting in motion the events that would lead to her second arrest.
According to the release, Tobe did not appear for a January 15 hearing regarding the previous case and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
On Monday, January 18, Tobe was allegedly parked on the shoulder of the 91 Freeway in Artesia, asleep and with two pit bulls (a violation of the court order to keep all animals out of her care.)
An officer knocked on her car window at approximately 8:40PM, attempting to awake her and ask her to exit the vehicle. The release stated she allegedly refused to comply, put her car into drive and drove away.
The events led to her pursuit that ended at the end of the 710 in Long Beach after the California Highway Patrol (CHP) implemented several PIT maneuvers, stopping Tobe’s vehicle.
The release stated that she underwent a field sobriety test immediately, as she smelled of alcohol and showed signs of intoxication. Tobe was arrested, and her animals are being held at Long Beach Animal Care Services.
PREVIOUSLY: Woman With Dogs in Car Leads Highway Patrol on Chase Ending in Long Beach
01/19/15 at 11:02AM | A woman driving a Mercedes-Benz with dogs in it was arrested Monday night in Long Beach after a car chase that ended in Long Beach
The chase began on the Artesia (91) Freeway in Buena Park near Knott Avenue, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) was notified of the chase around 8:35PM, according to CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos.
Tiffini Kuuipo Tobe of Santa Ana had parked her car on the side of the freeway in Orange County, where a CHP officer pulled up beside her, asking if she needed assistance. She promptly drove away, leading the officer on a chase.
The chase continued to the southbound portion of the 710 in Long Beach, and ended when the CHP used several PIT maneuvers to spin the car out and into the center divider around 10:00PM, according to the CHP.
When Tobe left the car at the command of the CHP, the pit bull mixes left the car and ran up to her as she was lying on the freeway, waiting to be handcuffed by officers. The officers were able to successfully capturing the loose dogs and removing the others from the car, all without incident.
Traffic was halted momentarily at the end of the chase because of the law enforcement actions, prior to the dogs running free onto the road.
Tobe was ultimately taken in a CHP cruiser and the friendly group of dogs were corralled by law enforcement, taken to Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS).
The freeway was reopened as of 10:14PM.
The dogs are reportedly doing well. Shelter Manager Ted Stevens said that ACS staff is working on a positive identification of the owner and will put them up for adoption if they are left abandoned.
City News Service contributed to this report.
This story was updated at 4:11PM with information from the CHP Public Information/Recruitment Unit and Ted Stevens.
This story was updated on January 21 at 5:08PM with information from the Orange County District Attorney, alleging Tobe had just two dogs in her car and was wanted for prior arrests.