A police chase and standoff ended late Friday afternoon after the man leading the chase crashed his Mercedes-Benz and held a box cutter to his throat during a two-hour-plus standoff with a SWAT team, according to officials.
The suspect was identified as 43-year-old Eliseo Mendoza of Long Beach, and he was booked in Long Beach City Jail for reckless driving, evading, a DUI, hit and run and speeding. He is currently at Los Angeles County Men’s Jail on $75,000 bail, according to the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) Sgt. James Richardson said the driver was initially pursued for reckless driving around 4:30PM Friday, but evaded officers with his driving.
At around 5:00PM, the vehicle was spotted, and the police pursued the driver with the intent of towing the car. However, the driver, who they hadn’t initially seen, “fled again” by driving off, said Richardson.
Another chase began on the 2900 block of 65th Street and extended into Bellflower, according to Richardson, until the Mercedes-Benz hit another car at Artesia and Lakewood boulevards in Bellflower.
The incident sparked a four-car collision, with one of the other drivers sustaining a minor wrist injury, Richardson said. At that time it was unknown if the suspect had any weapons with him.
Shortly after, “40 mm rubber bullets were deployed on the suspect; however, the suspect still refused to surrender and remained in the vehicle,” said LBPD Spokeswoman Nancy Pratt.
At first, the driver refused surrender. He held a box cutter to his neck and sporadically inflicted minor cuts to his neck, which led the police to believe he was suicidal.
At around 7:45PM, the suspect surrendered to the LBPD, after being surrounded by the SWAT team.
He was transported to the hospital for the cuts on his neck, Richardson said. An investigation is underway.
This report was updated at 1:45PM with information from LBPD Spokeswoman Nancy Pratt.