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LAPD cars, civilian vehicles smashed up in stolen van pursuit

April 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
LAPD officers were in high-speed pursuit of a stolen van in South Los Angeles at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The pursuit began near the southbound 110 Freeway and Exposition Boulevard.

USC has set up 48 different license-plate readers and surveillance cameras all over campus. One of those units picked up a stolen vehicle's license plate at 28th and Figueroa streets and tipped off the LAPD at about 1 p.m.

The suspect fled from police on the 10, 110 and 105 freeways as well as on surface streets, including going the wrong way. The van struck numerous vehicles in traffic, including at least two police cars.

The van was struck by police cars in attempts to disable the vehicle, and some spike-strips were used to destroy the van's tires.

The suspect evaded several attempts by LAPD officers to use the PIT maneuver to stop the van.

It appeared the van sustained at least one deflated tire due to a spike strip.

The suspect stopped the van on a surface street in the area of 43rd Street and Vermont Avenue, then ran out of vehicle down the street at high speed with officers in foot pursuit. The suspect then slipped on wet concrete and about 12 officers pounced on him and arrested him.

"He showed disregard for public safety. He actually increased his speeds," said LAPD Lt. Al Lopez. "He blatantly drove through red lights and stop signs, and he finally got out of the car. A foot pursuit ensued. As a result of that foot pursuit, a use of force occurred where we took him into custody."

The suspect was wanted for suspected auto theft. Evasion and assault with a deadly weapon charges were also expected. Police said he intentionally drove at police during the pursuit. The suspect was not immediately identified.

Police said there were at least two non-life-threatening injuries caused by the pursuit, but did not elaborate.

A woman who said she was the suspect's aunt talked to Eyewitness News. She says she was on the phone with police trying to negotiate her nephew's surrender while he was being pursued. She says he's 18 years old.

Isaiah Reyes said he is the son of one of the drivers the suspect struck. He said his father was hospitalized after the stolen white cargo van crashed into his father's black SUV. The SUV driver was hospitalized in intensive care with head and chest trauma but was expected to survive.


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