A suspect has led authorities on an intense pursuit filled with car crashes across Orange and Los Angeles counties.
At first, authorities began pursuing a man driving a black sedan for a traffic violation near Knott’s Berry Farm. The suspect drove around Buena Park before getting out of the car in an attempt to steal a truck.
After unsuccessful attempts, he got back into the black sedan and continued driving before abandoning his car in a building complex. He started running around the compound before finding a white van. The suspect stole the white van and repeatedly rammed a police cruiser before driving off.
“My refrigerated van was so heavy that he was able to push the police cruiser out of the way by backing up and ramming it and knocking it out,” said the owner of the stolen van, Josh Reynolds.
During the chase, the suspect blew out the left rear tire and entered a gas station with sparks flying from the exposed rim. Shortly after leaving the station, the driver crashed into a parked car. He started to gas the accelerator, creating a huge cloud of smoke before jumping out of the van and fleeing from the police again.
He ran into a nearby neighborhood, dodging police before breaking into a house and stealing the keys to a van. Residents were at home at the time and briefly fought with the suspect, pointing a knife at him as he tried to drive away with their van.
“I told him that I’m going to have to stab you right now my brother,” said Andres Benitez, victim of a carjacking. “But my mum kept screaming and screaming. He saw my mum holding me down and he just got out of the house.”
Benitez said he and his brother just bought the truck less than a month ago.
“It makes me very upset because it was a big investment that I had just made with my brother – a month ago, less than a month,” Benitez said. “Just to see this brand new truck being stolen with all the equipment in there is just heartbreaking.”
Police continued to pursue the suspect as he drove on the wrong side of the road, nearly hitting oncoming traffic.
The chase eventually ended after the suspect collided with another vehicle before being hit by a police cruiser. The vehicle continued to drive through a gas station, before hitting a pump and reversing.
Deputies opened fire on the suspect but apparently missed the suspect despite hitting the stolen truck several times. After a brief standoff, deputies approached the vehicle with ballistic shields and arrested the suspect, finally ending the wild pursuit.
Three people were taken to hospital with injuries related to the crash. No one was hospitalized with a gunshot wound.