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Wild South L.A. pursuit ends on slippery note; suspect in custody

Starbucks Corp.

Los Angeles police were taken on a wild chase Tuesday afternoon when a suspect in a white van tore through residential streets and alleys in a futile attempt to escape authorities.

The suspect, who was not immediately identified, started fleeing from police at USC before leading the chase across the 10 and 110 freeways and streets in Koreatown.

As news cameras followed from the air, the suspect precariously weaved in and out of ongoing traffic and attempted to negotiate tight turns despite his speed and the van’s limited maneuverability. Once, the van apparently drove head first into a police cruiser and broadsided an SUV.

Later in the chase, the driver barreled into the rear side of vehicles stopped at a red light, forcing his van between the cars and police units trying to box him in from the rear. Police appeared to attempt a pit maneuver, but were unsuccessful.

The chase came to a dramatic conclusion near 43rd Street and Vermont Avenue when officers waited for him in a South L.A. neighborhood. As the van drove by, officers threw out spike strips that blew out at least two tires on the van.

The driver eventually bailed from the vehicle as it was moving, ran across a parking lot, then across a street before slipping on wet pavement. Nearly a dozen police piled on top of him as he appeared to resist arrest shortly before 2 p.m.

Officers could be heard over a police scanner saying the man fought with police.

KTLA reported the man was suspected of stealing the van.

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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