LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Viewers watching a police pursuit Friday evening saw the driver make wild turns, drive on the wrong side of the road and nearly sideswipe several vehicles.
When the chase ended, and the female suspect was taken into custody, they also witnessed what appeared to be authorities treating her — as one letter writer put it “more like a princess than a suspect.”
CBS 2’s Andrea Fujii spoke to law enforcement to find out why the chase ended, well, less than forcefully.
The chase, Fujii reports, started in the parking lot of the Federal Building in Westwood. Along the route of the chase, the driver went the wrong way on busy El Segundo Boulevard and drove her white KIA erratically.
She managed to never hit anyone — car or pedestrian but there were close calls. She drove over curbs and center dividers.
The chase ultimately ended when CHP officers were able to conduct a PIT maneuver on her vehicle in Manhattan Beach.
After she puts her hands out of the car window, Sky 9 captured images of officers calmly talking to her, allowing her to rifle through her belongings and chat.
In many chases, officers can be seen dragging people out of vehicles and throwing them to the pavement. Today’s chase suspect got out of her vehicle, calmly, and holding her purse. Cuffs were put on her.
West LA CHP Lieutenant Dustin Ferguson was in the cruiser that conducted the PIT. He told Fujii they didn’t yell at the woman or order her to the ground for good reason.
“It was pretty apparent that the driver was experiencing some kind of mental crisis,” Ferguson said.
CBS 2/KCAL 9 ran the license plates on the KIA and found a woman of the same name and description with a Facebook page that had pictures of the Federal building — some allegedly taken just before the chase began. In the captions, she rambled on about how she wasn’t allowed into the building.
The CHP says they are trained to treat people experiencing a mental issue differently while still maintaining their safety.
“[We] attempted to defuse the situation with a more gentle and nontraditional approach,” Ferguson said, “and it proved to be effective.”
The woman was taken to the hospital for observation, officials said. She could still face charges.