LOS ANGELES — A driver Tuesday night led police on a hours-long chase the turned into a crawl at times from South Los Angeles to San Pedro, downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys and the Inland Empire.
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Division gang unit began chasing the driver, who was accused of having a gun, about 7 p.m., said Officer William Cooper of LAPD.
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) February 3, 2021
Multiple patrol vehicles chased a silver car as the driver ran red lights, drove on the wrong side of traffic and cut through parking lots to make turns.
About 7:45 p.m., the driver entered onto the southbound Harbor (110) Freeway from westbound Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, and traveled to where the freeway ends in San Pedro before making a U-turn and heading back north.
NBC4 reported the driver was acting erratically inside the car, and at times appeared to be talking on a cellphone while inching along the northbound Harbor Freeway at speeds under 10 mph.
At one point, the pursuit passed a rubbish fire that was burning near the freeway at West 81st Street and South Grand Avenue in South Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Multiple police cruisers were blocking traffic from passing the pursuit as they followed the driver, who would slow to a near-stop, then accelerate again.
Just after 9 p.m., the driver exited the Harbor Freeway and entered onto the northbound Hollywood (101) Freeway near downtown, where the chase continued.
The driver traveled north toward the San Fernando Valley before exiting the freeway, making a U-turn and getting back on the northbound Hollywood Freeway.
Officers continued their pursuit of the driver, who turned southbound on the Hollywood Freeway, then transitioned to the eastbound San Bernardino (10) Freeway in East Los Angeles and began traveling slowly, dropping to speeds below 10 mph for long stretches.
Multiple broadcast reports said the driver hit a spike strip at some point in the chase, blowing out the two front tires of the silver Chevrolet Malibu.
Around 11 p.m., the driver slowed to a stop several times, allowing officers to briefly get out of their cruisers before the suspect continued to move along at a slow pace.
Residents came out of their homes to take up positions on overpasses in the Baldwin Park area to watch the pursuit pass by.
At one point, someone stopped on the side of the freeway produced a sign that read, “Fools gone wild,” ABC7 reported.
Around 1:12 a.m. Wednesday, helicopter footage from NBC Los Angeles showed that something from the suspect’s damaged vehicle broke off; apparently the driver’s side rim, and there was a shower of sparks from the undercarriage. By this time the chase had reached Ontario on the eastbound 10 Freeway.
Soon after, the suspect surrendered near the Vineyard Avenue off-ramp of the 10 in Ontario, the NBC LA livestream showed.
— AlexVnews (@alexvnews) February 3, 2021
The Daily News contributed to this story.
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