Los Angeles driver in custody after hours-long vehicle chase

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A bizarre, hours-long vehicle chase in Los Angeles ended early Wednesday with a suspect in custody and his severely damaged vehicle — with at least three flat tires — sitting on a freeway.

Video posted to social media around 1:30 a.m. local time showed police officers moving in on the reportedly “armed and dangerous” suspect as he stood outside his vehicle. He was quickly surrounded, handcuffed and led away.

Just minutes earlier, sparks flew from the left wheel on the driver’s side of the suspect’s vehicle as the rim fell off, leaving the silver Chevy Malibu finally disabled after hours of traveling with at least three of its tires damaged.

Throughout the evening, video posted by FOX 11 in Los Angeles and other stations had showed the Malibu with Oklahoma plates traveling around the city, largely on Interstate 110, with police vehicles close behind and news helicopters overhead.

What started as a high-speed chase after 7 p.m. eventually slowed to less than 5 mph after the suspect’s vehicle was damaged by a spike strip, KNBC-TV of Los Angeles reported.

Police were pursuing carefully because the driver was believed to be in possession of a weapon, the report said.

The cautiousness of the pursuit was in accordance with police training, Joe Buscaino, a Los Angeles city councilman who served as an L.A. police officer, told the station.

He noted the vehicle chase came amid a time of rising crime in the nation’s second-largest city.

“I anticipate it’s going to get worse before it gets better, unfortunately,” Buscaino said.

The chase covered stretches of Interstate 110, in both north and south directions, as the driver exited and re-entered the freeway, KNBC-TV reported.

Around 11 p.m. local time the suspect was seen driving slowly in El Monte, Calif., with at least four police vehicles close behind. All vehicles were in driving slowly, and many vehicles were seen parked along the roadway, with passengers watching the action.

The chase began around 7 p.m. local time on a report of a suspect with a gun, the station reported.

The suspect’s identity, and a list of potential criminal charges, were not immediately available.


This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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