A reckless driving suspect was in custody following a dramatic chase and a standoff with sheriff’s deputies in Compton that lasted for hours.
More than four hours after the standoff began, during which the suspect was spotted inhaling a gaseous substance from a balloon and tossing tear-gas canisters back at cops, he was apprehended and taken into custody.
By 5:25 p.m., they were able to force him out of the driver’s seat of his pickup vehicle by dousing it in gasoline.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, it all started when someone reported seeing a truck performing donuts in the roadway and the driver taking deep breaths from the tank.
Sheriff’s deputies came and attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver sped off, leading them on a perilous and winding chase through the Compton neighborhood.
Several attempts were made by deputies to disable the car using a PIT maneuver. The truck whirled around each time but then simply kept going, finding a path through the deputy vehicles.
By around 1 p.m. the slow-speed chase developed into a barricade situation after the man in the truck drove over a spike strip laid by a deputy and the suspect made his way into a dead-end street near the dry Compton Creek riverbed.
The motorist remained inside the vehicle as deputies blocked his vehicle from behind, pointed their rifles, and issued demands.
He was observed taking breaths into a white balloon throughout the standoff. What exactly was in the balloon was unclear.
A mist of light smoke was evident as cops fired less-lethal rounds, presumably packed with pepper spray, at the truck. A number of deputies then surrounded the car, and one of them presumably threw a canister of tear gas inside. This time, the man flung the canister back out the open window.
At one point, the suspect crawled partially out of the driver-side window and turned in the direction of authorities. His words to them were muddled and confusing.
A reckless driving suspect in a pickup truck led Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on a meandering chase through the Compton area.
After almost half an hour of the standoff, the man tried to reverse his truck into the police car that was positioned behind him. Smoke emerged from the pickup truck’s rear tires as they whirled in place.
A Sheriff’s Department helicopter monitored the situation from overhead, as did several news media choppers.
The roadblock stalemate lasted more than four hours after the truck came to a stop.