WESTCHESTER (CBSLA) – A motorist who struck a person riding a scooter in Playa del Rey led police on a nearly three-hour pursuit Thursday that stretched to San Diego County and forced the closure of the 5 Freeway before he was taken into custody.
Police began pursuing the suspect, identified as Karl Flores, in a sedan on Manchester Boulevard in Inglewood around 11 a.m. Police tried to pull over Flores and his damaged red Honda Civic for vehicle code violations, according to Culver City police Lt. Troy Dunlap. The vehicle had a broken rear window, Dunlap said.
At one point, Flores slammed into a pedestrian or scooter rider in the Playa del Rey area. The victim was taken to a hospital with “non-life-threatening injuries,” according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The impact from the collision left the car’s windshield smashed in.
Police tried four times to stop the vehicle using PIT maneuvers, each time spinning the car around, but were unable to stop the car, which lost a rear bumper during the fourth PIT maneuver.
Just after 1:30 p.m., the suspect pulled over onto the shoulder of the southbound 5 Freeway near Camp Pendleton. A lengthy standoff with police ensued before Flores was taken into custody.
Traffic along the southbound 5 Freeway was completely shut down near Camp Pendleton before reopening a short time later.
Video of the suspect’s car showed significant damage, including a missing rear windshield and half of the rear bumper.
Flores, who is believed to be a military veteran suffering from PTSD, is accused of getting into a fight outside a local mosque earlier this week.
Javed Bava, the president of the Islamic Society of Inglewood, said Flores showed up to the mosque on Tuesday and allegedly attacked a worshiper for no reason.
“He didn’t look behind or anything. He just started beating him up,” Bava said.
Flores’ next door neighbors also witnessed erratic behaviors.
“Suddenly he changed, I don’t know. His wife, she left him,” Salah Omar said.
People who know Flores said they recognized his car during the chase in which police used a spike strip in San Diego County before his Honda ran out of gas.
Authorities eventually deployed a police dog to arrest Flores.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Wire services contributed to this report.)