• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Stolen LAPD cruiser crashes in Mid-City

August 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A young man is in critical condition after stealing a police cruiser and crashing into a pole outside a Starbucks in Mid-City Friday morning.

More than seven hours after the accident, La Brea Avenue remained shut down, and police remained on scene investigating.

Police say the man stole the car around 4 a.m., and then minutes later, he crashed at La Brea Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard.

"I was driving south on La Brea, and I saw a cop car coming in the other direction with no siren, no flashing lights," said one witness. "After I passed him, I heard a loud noise. I looked back in my mirror and he had gone up on the curb."

Police say the suspect was thrown from the vehicle after it hit a light pole and then rolled several times. Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to get the man out of the vehicle. The 25-year-old man was rushed to the hospital with a severed leg.

"I've never seen a police car that mangled in my whole life, even on TV," said Scott Pare, a witness. "They were chasing this guy. I heard a crash, bang, boom ... unbelievable."

Officials said the cruiser was traveling at a high rate of speed when it crashed. According to witnesses, the driver simply lost control.

The crash shut down La Brea Avenue at the height of the morning commute. Businesses were also closed, including Starbucks, which was damaged from flying debris.

The suspect's identity has not been released. Authorities are still trying to determine why he took the car. Police say even when the suspect was being transported missing a leg, he was still fighting with authorities.

It was unknown when La Brea Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard would reopen.


Load Comments