A man suspected of stealing a car led police on a slow-moving pursuit Thursday through the San Fernando Valley with the vehicle’s bumper barely hanging onto the car.
The chase began at about 10:15 p.m. after officials received information of a stolen vehicle. The pursuit travelled at speeds estimated at 10 mph through the valley. The driver made illegal U-turns, travelled on the wrong side of the road on surface streets and caused traffic by stopping numerous times.
The slow-moving pursuit garnered attention from pedestrians, cameramen and frustrated drivers. Two men exited their vehicles to kick the car involved in the pursuit while the driver made a stop in the middle of the road. One civilian who kicked the man’s car was cited.
Officials attempted several PIT maneuvers and used numerous spike strips in an attempt to halt the pursuit. Because of the amount of onlookers on Ventura Boulevard in Encino, police were unable to continue their efforts with a PIT maneuver until about 11:45 p.m.
Police initially thought the man was DUI based on how he was driving, but later determined that he was not. The driver is a documented gang member in his 30s, according to Sgt. Batista of the Los Angeles Police Department, West Valley division.
Officials surrounded the pursuit vehicle shortly after 11:45 p.m. near the intersection of Ventura Boulevard and Woodley Avenue. The driver surrendered and was arrested.