CHP officer recalls tense moment man surrenders his baby after chase through LA

The suspect's 11-month-old daughter was inside the vehicle as sparks flew from the wheel and CHP units were in pursuit.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A California Highway Patrol officer is recalling the tense moment when an assault suspect surrendered his baby to him during a back-and-forth exchange after a chase through Los Angeles.

"We had to calm him down first before we can even begin to get him to start handing the child over to us," said California Highway Patrol Officer Jonathan Lee.

After the chase ended, Lee was able to safely take the baby from the assault suspect, who led CHP units on a pursuit through L.A. Tuesday evening.

The pursuit began in the East L.A. area after the suspect allegedly assaulted an officer.

The suspect was in a Toyota Prius and AIR7 HD was overhead as the driver's car was fleeing on a shredded wheel, causing sparks to fly from the rims.

All of this occurring as the suspect's 11-month-old daughter was inside the car.

Chase ends in Crenshaw District as suspect with baby in vehicle taken into custody
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An assault suspect driving with a child inside the vehicle led authorities on a chase that ended in the Crenshaw District Tuesday evening.

When the chase ended in the Crenshaw District, Lee pleaded with the man to hand the girl over to safety.

Lee slowly approached, his weapon holstered and his hands empty. He said he tried to relate to the man by speaking about his own children.

"I'm reaching out to him as a father, not as an officer to a suspect," Lee said. "Just father to father."

"Once I was able to calm him down and reassure him that I'm going look out for your daughter as much as I look out for my own children, I want her safe, and then he began to understand and see," Lee said.

The man eventually handed over his daughter and was taken into custody. Lee held the girl until she was taken to meet with the Department of Family Services.

"It could have gone horribly wrong," Lee said. "It never came to that, which is what we're all glad for that. You can't ask for a better ending than that."
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