ELYSIAN VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles River path is supposed to be a sanctuary of sorts, a space free of cars and away from the dangers of the street.
But as William Mills and his little boy learned Thursday morning, that’s not always the case.
First, they heard the siren.
Then, they watched as a police car chased a suspected stolen SUV right there on the bike path.
“They were going so fast that it would have been really difficult for anyone to get out of the way,” Mills said.
The chase lasted at least a couple of miles before the suspect stopped his car.
Witnesses said both the suspect and police were going between 40 to 60 mph.
“I’m surprised that nobody was hurt,” Mills said.
The average police car is about 6 ½ feet, which is more than half the width of this path and leaves just a couple feet on each end.
“Room to barely jump out of the way once barreling at you,” Mills said.
David De La Torre, the chairman of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch, says he thought speeding cyclists were bad.
But, he says, the incident marks the third time in four months where a car has posed an even greater threat.
“I think they should have pulled back, called in for back-up,” De La Torre said. “To allow a chase to unfold as it did this morning is dangerous.”
An LAPD commanding officer says the incident is under review with extra scrutiny because of the use of force.
Police used a Taser on the suspect when he got out of the car and he then fell two stories off the bridge. The suspect has been hospitalized, but is expected to live.
City officials just locked up the gate to one of at least three access points that could fit a car.