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LAUSD teacher leads police on wild pursuit; ends with crash in Rolling Hills Estates

July 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Los Angeles Unified School District teacher wanted on child sex-abuse charges led authorities on a wild pursuit on Tuesday. It ended with his pickup truck going airborne and crashing into a tree in Rolling Hills Estates.

The suspect was identified as Kip Arnold, a physical education teacher at Southeast Middle School.

The chase, which began at his home in Lakewood, lasted nearly an hour. Just after 1 p.m., officers from the Bell Police Department confronted Arnold in regard to the investigation, but Arnold took off.

The pursuit went from the southbound 405 Freeway to the 110 Freeway, and then onto Pacific Coast Highway.

Police used the PIT maneuver in Lomita, causing the truck to spin and crash into the side of a big rig. But the pursuit did not end there. After a short standoff, with officers' guns drawn, Arnold drove off again.

"After the truck was stopped over here, the police told him to stick his hands out the windows, which he did for probably about 10 seconds, and then after that, he rolled up the windows and took off," said witness Brian Jamison.

Seven miles later, officers were following the truck when it suddenly veered off an embankment and slammed into a tree next to a building at 950 Indian Peak Road. Arnold was pinned in the truck lodged against a tree, but he survived. It took rescuers about 30 minutes to extricate the suspect. He was then taken to a local hospital under police custody, where he is in stable condition.

Police say Arnold had been under surveillance for some time. The investigators had been tracking him for several days as the LAUSD, the D.A.'s office and Bell police were closing in. When he was confronted by officers, he said he was going to kill himself, according to Bell police.

LAUSD says Arnold has been with the district for eight years. He has also worked at Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School and Orchard Academies 2B in the past. Authorities are investigating the possibility of more victims.

After Arnold's arrest, investigators were seen searching for evidence his Lakewood house.

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