HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ The son of Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates has been arrested on a charge of robbing a pharmacy of about $5,000 worth of morphine-like drugs, officials said Tuesday.

Lowell Scott Gates, 29, was arrested Monday afternoon in this suburb about 35 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles after a robbery at a store called The Druggist, said police spokeswoman Joanne Bergstrom.

Gates acknowledged Tuesday that the man arrested was his son.

''I am extremely sorry a young man with great potential has gone in this direction,'' Gates said. ''This is a good example of why we should do something for young people who get involved in narcotics.''

The robber entered the pharmacy Monday shortly before noon, Ms. Bergstrom said.

''He loitered around a bit and handed a note to the clerk that said words to the effect of 'Don't move, I have a gun,''' Ms. Bergstrom said.

The bandit then demanded drugs made up of various quantities of demerol, dilaudid and percodan, all of which are similar to morphine and heroin, and a pharmacist complied, Ms. Bergstrom said.

During the holdup, the man ''simulated a gun,'' but no weapon was seen or recovered, the spokeswoman said.

After the robbery, the man fled on foot. An employee, joined by two other men, chased him down the street, over fences and through several yards to a house, where police arrested him, she said.

The younger Gates was booked for investigation of robbery. He was being held Tuesday at the Huntington Beach Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail and was to be arraigned Wednesday in West Orange Municipal Court, officials said.