A 26-year-old man has been charged with murder and animal cruelty after prosecutors say he led police on a pursuit through Long Beach, ran a red light and fatally struck a man who was walking his dog on Tuesday.

Jyvante West, was charged with one count each of murder, animal cruelty, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle causing death, second-degree burglary and sale/transport of marijuana, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Police said they were called to a licensed “marijuana-related business” in an industrial area of West Long Beach for reports about a burglary at about 11:10 p.m., Tuesday. Officers were able to arrest 5 others at the scene, but West took off in a car and led police on a 5-minute chase through Long Beach using surface streets and the 103 and 710 freeways.

Pictures of Jose Hernandez taped to a utility pole at the intersection of Magnolia and 6th Street, where he was allegedly killed by a driver fleeing police on May 26, 2020. Photo by Jeremiah Dobruck.

The driver ran a red light and hit 32-year-old Jose Hernandez and his dog as he was legally crossing the street at Magnolia Avenue and 6th Street, officials said. Police were able to arrest the driver after he crashed into a fence near Pine Avenue and 6th Street. At the time, police said they believe the driver was under the influence of drugs.

West’s arraignment was postponed to June 12. If convicted as charged, he faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison, prosecutors said.

Driver fleeing police hits, kills man walking dog near Downtown, LBPD says

Valerie Osier is the Social Media & Newsletter Manager for the Long Beach Post. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @ValerieOsier