SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man in a stolen van led police on a wild chase through South L.A. Wednesday night, driving on sidewalks and narrowly missing cars and pedestrians before striking a dog.
The chase started shortly before 8:30 p.m.
As of 8:33 p.m., the driver was racing down the wrong side of the street, with the headlights turned off, at Central and Manchester.
At one point, the white Chevrolet Astrovan trailed behind a police patrol car before dodging around the vehicle.
Authorities often gave the impression that they were trailing not chasing the suspect. They may have been waiting for the vehicle, which drove through much of the chase with at least one flat tire, to give out.
Stu Mundel followed in SKY9 as the driver raced down city streets and weaved onto sidewalks, narrowly missing other vehicles and pedestrians. Given the way the suspect was driving, it Mundel said it appeared as if the person was familiar with the area.
Some people on the sidewalk had their phones out talking photos and some were cheering on the driver.
By 8:39 p.m. the suspect was heading down South Avalon at a high rate of speed, often making wide U-turns to elude officers.
The suspect seemed to be heading in circles as it turned back onto Manchester around 8:46 p.m.
The LAPD and California Highway Patrol, with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department tracking the suspect by air, teamed up to capture the driver.
At 8:58 p.m. a patrol car performed a PIT maneuver, but that failed to stop the driver.
Another officer pitted the vehicle at 9:03 p.m. and laid down a spike strip, but the suspect, now driving with at least three flat tires, kept on going with sparks streaming from the van.
At 9:06 p.m., the suspect ran over a dog.
At 9:07 p.m., a patrol car performed yet another PIT maneuver, which was enough to bring the van to a halt, as it was quickly surrounded by three patrol cars at Wadsworth and Manchester.
Two suspects, a man and a female passenger, exited the vehicle and laid on the street before being taken into custody.
They have not yet been identified.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Serene Branson reported the dog that was struck was found and taken to an animal care facility. The Maltese mix, named “Gordo,” needs extensive medical care and will likely lose one of its back legs. Donations can be made online at Access Animal Hospitals.