A vehicle pursuit that spanned multiple cities before ending peacefully in East Long Beach snarled traffic and involved multiple near misses as a man driving a reported stolen white pickup truck squeezed through traffic and ran traffic signals while trying to evade law enforcement, news footage showed.
According to CBS Los Angeles, the pursuit passed through Whittier, Lakewood, parts of North Orange County and culminated in Long Beach this afternoon. The chase began around 2:30PM in Downey according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
A Sheriff’s spokesperson said that the driver was believed to have been seen waving a gun at one point however it is unclear if a gun was recovered at the conclusion of the chase. Pursuit of the driver was temporarily called due to the dangerous driving he was exhibiting—he clipped multiple cars during the pursuit—but was resumed once again while the suspect was traveling through Buena Park.
The driver reportedly hit speeds of up to 60 miles per hour while traveling along Long Beach surface streets with Sheriff’s Deputies unsuccessfully deploying spike strips on multiple occasions. The man driving the white pickup truck briefly entered into the Long Beach Airport (LGB) before exiting and traveling south on Lakewood Boulevard in the northbound lanes.
After disappearing from view in the tunnel that travels under LGB’s main runway the driver reemerged in the northbound lanes with nearly a dozen patrol cars still in pursuit. He then drove through the Traffic Circle twice before eventually heading south on Pacific Coast Highway where the pursuit eventually came to an end.
That vehicle-theft suspect who was being chased by law enforcement surrendered in the 1400 block of North Anaheim Place, north of the Long Beach playhouse. The man was apprehended without incident after he coasted to a stop and exited the truck’s driver side door where deputies took him into custody just before 4:00 PM.
The Long Beach Police Department was not involved in the pursuit as the Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol headed the pursuit.
City News Service contributed to this report.