[UPDATE Saturday 4 p.m.: Authorities on Saturday identified the reckless driver as 29-year-old Vardan Aslanyan. He was arrested on charges of DUI, drug possession and evading police officers. The investigation is being handled by CHP.]
BURBANK (CBS) — Police pulled a DUI suspect out of his vehicle after a wild and dangerous chase through the San Fernando Valley Friday evening.
The chase began about 7:45 p.m. Friday evening in Burbank.
Stu Mundel, reporting in Sky9, said police tried to pull the subject over when they noticed he was driving erratically. He was first spotted driving dangerously by an off-duty officer.
Early reports say the driver blew through a stop sign and then refused to pull over.
For about an hour, the suspect kept police and CHP at bay.
The suspect was going as quickly as 100 mph, according to the CHP.
The suspect was chased on surface streets but also went northbound on the 5 Freeway. He later connected to the 118 Freeway. He also drove on the 170 and the 101.
The suspect drove on the wrong side of the road “many, many times,” according to Mundel.
Early in the pursuit, the suspect was monitored by helicopter with squad cars giving him a wide berth. A half-hour into the chase, several squad cars — about five — trailed the car closely.
In Chatsworth, headed towards Simi Valley, the CHP took over jurisdiction of the chase. The suspect got off the Freeway and immediately turned and went eastbound.
In relatively heavy traffic, the suspect made erratic moves bobbing and weaving in between cars in excess of 100 mph.
Officer Saul Gomez said the suspect was “starting to drive recklessly. And the speeds are definitely up there. The good thing, traffic is fairly light right now.”
The car is registered in North Hollywood.
At 8:30, about 45 minutes after the chase started, the suspect came to a complete stop and then after about a minute he took off again.
On the 101, the suspect drove down the emergency lane. He hit another vehicle and apparently caused some damage to his left front tire.
Smoke was coming from the wheel “compounding the danger level,” reported Mundel, “and he’s still not slowing down. His wheel is totally tweaked and his tires have to be worn pretty quickly.”
With his tire then completely gone, the suspect drove on his rims.
The suspect got off the freeway and, with wheels smoking and one one rim, he drove on Franklin.”It’s amazing he can keep this up,” said Mundel.
He side-swiped a vehicle on Franklin Avenue, almost disabling his car completely, before pulling to a stop under a freeway overpass.
At least six officers had guns drawn ordering the suspect out of the vehicle.
After throwing spike strips, officers pulled him to the ground after refusing to exit the car.
The suspect left a path of destruction in his wake, including an overturned SUV.
According to CBS2 reporter Rachel Kim, a 3-year-old boy, riding in the car that was hit, was sent to the hospital with back pains. Bryant Valencia, the boy’s father told Kim his son will be okay. The family involved was visiting Los Angeles from Miami. “We rolled over, I don’t know how many times. I just remember seeing my son hanging from his car seat.”
We also spoke to the suspect as he was being cuffed. Asked if he thought he was putting people in danger, he said, “I would never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever disrespect law enforcement when they were chasing me. I would never run. Running isn’t a good thing.”
Kim said, “Do you realize you hurt people in those cars.” He replied, “Do you realize I need help?” He also told her he ran “because I wanted to go home and live good.”
“This was one for the books, for sure!” said Mundel. “One crazy chase.”