A motorist who struck a person riding a scooter in LA County led police on a nearly three-hour pursuit today that stretched to San Diego County, where the man came to a stop alongside Interstate 5 and holed up inside his car for about 45 minutes before being arrested.
The chase originated around 10:50 a.m. near Sepulveda and Washington boulevards in Culver City, where police tried to pull over the suspect and his damaged red Honda Civic for vehicle code violations, according to Culver City police Lt. Troy Dunlap. The vehicle had a broken rear window, Dunlap said.
Culver City police pursued the suspect initially, but broke off the chase before being informed minutes later by Los Angeles police that the suspect had struck a person on a motorized scooter in the Playa del Rey area, Dunlap said. Culver City police re-entered the chase, but Los Angeles police eventually took over the pursuit.
Los Angeles Fire Department officials said the scooter rider who was struck in the 7800 block of West Manchester Avenue was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The impact, however, smashed the front windshield of the suspect's car.
The chase continued at relatively slow speeds on Westchester-area streets. Police tried four times to stop the vehicle using PIT maneuvers, each time spinning the car around, but the motorist was able to drive away and elude capture. The Honda lost a rear bumper during the fourth PIT maneuver.
After the final PIT attempt, the suspect picked up speed and got on the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway, driving through Orange County and into San Diego County near Oceanside, where the suspect pulled to a stop alongside the 5 Freeway around 1:30 p.m. It was unclear if the suspect merely gave up the chase or ran out of gas.
Despite coming to a stop, the suspect refused to immediately come out of the vehicle, despite opening the car door at least twice. With the help of a police dog, officers approached the car and took the driver into custody around 2:15 p.m.
The southbound 5 Freeway was closed during the standoff, stranding thousands of motorists.
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