California

L.A. police chase goes nowhere as driver circles sealed mobile home park, cops say

A possibly stolen SUV led El Monte, California, police on a chase around and around a mobile home park that had been blocked off by officers Wednesday before a punctured tire finally fell off the vehicle, police say.
A possibly stolen SUV led El Monte, California, police on a chase around and around a mobile home park that had been blocked off by officers Wednesday before a punctured tire finally fell off the vehicle, police say. Screengrab from KABC video

It wasn’t exactly a high-speed chase.

A man driving a SUV led police in circles around an El Monte, California, mobile home park Wednesday night until a tire finally fell off the vehicle, KTLA reported.

Authorities had blocked off all the exits and entrances after the 9 p.m. chase began, KNBC reported. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the SUV was stolen, according to the station.

Trapped inside, the SUV driver circled the park at speeds up to 30 mph, avoiding police cars trying to block him, KABC reported.

Several television stations covered the pursuit via helicopter, videos show.

For routine traffic violations, police don’t pursue fleeing suspects, said Maj. J.D. Hawk, who heads the patrol division. Often such chases are unnecessary anyway, because the officer trying to make the stop already has the driver’s tag number and

The driver appeared to run over a spike strip at 9:40 p.m., and about 20 minutes later one of the SUV’s front tires fell off, KTLA reported.

The tire rolled into the front yard of a nearby mobile home, KABC reported. The driver, a man, got out and put his hands up.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia has released dashcam footage of a December 28 police chase during which shots were fired at a patrol car. The chase ended when the suspect’s vehicle, a Ford Explorer, flipped.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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