L.A. Police Chase Ends When Bystander Stands in Front of Suspect VehicleLos Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV LOS ANGELES, May 22 (UPI) — A slow-speed police chase in Los Angeles Friday afternoon came to an unexpected end when a bystander stood in front of the suspect vehicle and forced him to surrender.
The Ford Mustang convertible was reported to police by an off-duty firefighter, who called to say the vehicle was driving erratically. Police units ultimately caught up to the motorist, but he did not stop, officials said.
The Mustang had a sign on the door that read, “Victory Parade,” and witnesses said the driver acted strangely as he eluded police — waving and saluting bystanders as he passed, NBC Los Angeles reported.
The suspect wasn’t moving very fast — just 10 miles per hour, according to police — but was nonetheless considered a public danger as he drove through Northridge, Tarzana, Encino and along the famed Ventura Boulevard.
Ultimately, the man stopped his vehicle when a bystander stepped into the street and stood in front of the car. The driver tried to get the man to move out of the way, but he wouldn’t.
At that point, the driver got out of the vehicle and surrendered to officers. No one was injured during the pursuit.
The chase lasted for about an hour and involved 10 police units and a helicopter, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Police say the driver has had mental issues in the past, and may have been experiencing a personal “crisis.” He now faces a misdemeanor charge of evading arrest. Police said he was suspected of driving under the influence, but it was not revealed whether the driver had been drinking.
It wasn’t immediately clear, either, what “victory parade” meant or why the man eluded police.
The man who brought the chase to an end was also detained and questioned by officers on the spot — and was subsequently arrested because there was apparently an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest.
“We want to determine if there are any mental issues,” Los Angeles Police Department Lt. John Jenal said. “Of course, we do not condone someone doing this, endangering themselves, impeding the road.”
“They’re going to speak to the bystander and see what his mental status is and see why he did what he did,” LAPD spokesperson Tony Im said. “Because that was kind of dangerous for him.”