The driver behind the wheel of a stolen car was apprehended after hitting several vehicles during a dangerous pursuit through South Los Angeles surface streets Monday morning. Hermela Aregawi reports.
- Well, earlier, a carjacking suspect led police on a wild and dangerous pursuit that ended with him crashing into a tree.
- But only after a hit, several innocent drivers. KCAL 9's Hermela Aregawi is live in South LA right now with details on the chase, its shocking end, and reaction from the drivers. Hermela?
HERMELA AREGAWI: Yes, hi, Juan and Susie. This is where that car chase came to a nerve wracking end. Let me step out of the way, so that you can see that there is some glass from the headlights of the vehicles involved in the impact. Police use a pit maneuver, sending the suspect's vehicle over that center median and into oncoming traffic.
A carjacking turns into a wild car chase this morning around 11:30. Police say, this dark gray Corolla was stolen near Western and Florence. The carjacking victim, Geovani Lagos. Lagos says, he had just gotten a small check when a young man pushed him and snatched his keys.
GEOVANI LAGOS: I feel something, somebody pushing me, and grabbed the keys from my hand. Went I turned around, I saw the guy running to the car.
- Lagos said, he hopped in a friend's car, began following the suspect, and called 911.
GEOVANI LAGOS: And I followed the guy with my friend. I go, hey, someone stole my car. Let's go follow. And I call the police. I called 9-1-1, and the operator told me, stop, stop. Don't follow. Don't follow, because the helicopter already got it. I say, OK, OK, OK.
- Aerial footage shows the suspect is weaving in and out of traffic. He hit several vehicles near 135th and Van Ness. Police catch up with him at Western and 135th. Then a frightening moment.
- I'm coming down this way, and then I see this dude is flying.
- Police use a pit maneuver, while the suspect is going down Western. It sends his vehicle onto the other side of the road into oncoming traffic. He hit Juan Cardenas' vehicle, pushing him into another car. The suspect then slammed into a tree.
- Oh yeah, I was just getting my oil changed, man, and then I had some fruit. I had some fruit, and then the fruit was all over the place now.
- The suspect appears to give up after hitting the tree. Police then surround him, guns drawn, and put him in handcuffs without further incident.
- I was really in shock and how this would really just happen.
- We reached out to police about why they used a pit maneuver, while there were other cars around. But as of airtime, we haven't heard back. Live in South LA, Hermela Aregawi, KCAL 9 News.
- All right.