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Police pursuit drags on more than six hours, outlasts LAPD gas tanks

Driver is arrested in Ontario
A driver, who led police on a more than six-hour chase that turned into a crawl from South Los Angeles to San Pedro, downtown Los Angeles and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys and into the Inland Empire, was arrested in Ontario.
(OnScene.TV)

A police pursuit that began in South Los Angeles and ended in Ontario lasted so long that officers had to pull over and get gas.

The suspect, Michael Zinkiewitz, was taken into custody without incident after crisis negotiators enlisted his brother to speak with him, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.

During the six-hour chase, Zinkiewitz’s family had called authorities to identify him and report that he suffered from mental illness.

At around 6:50 p.m. Tuesday, officers from the LAPD’s 77th Gang Enforcement Detail pulled over a car near South Vermont Avenue and West 65th Street, according to the news release.

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The driver reached under his seat, leading the officers to believe he had a gun, the statement said. He then sped off.

Police tailed the white sedan, which circled around South L.A. before moving to Ladera Heights, jumping on the 110 Freeway toward San Pedro, doubling back up to Hollywood and heading east on the 10 Freeway, LAPD Sgt. Juan Garcia told NBC4.

Video footage shows Zinkiewitz, 35, of San Pedro speeding through a red light on the wrong side of the road. At another point, spectators gathered on an overpass to watch the drama.

Some police officers had to peel off and get gas, Garcia said. Yet the car kept on going.

About three hours into the pursuit, the car was moving at slow speeds before coming to a stop on the 10 Freeway, then taking off again.

“It looks like he’s ... no, I spoke too soon,” said an NBC4 broadcaster. “I was going to say it looks like he’s stopping now, but it looks like he’s trying to see how much more this car has in it.”

Police used a spike strip to bring the car to a halt on the 10 Freeway near the Vineyard exit in Ontario, according to the LAPD statement.

After 1 a.m., television footage showed the car losing three of its tires, sparks flying from bare rims as Zinkiewitz tried to continue before grinding to a halt.

As Zinkiewitz exited his car, he refused to comply with officers’ commands, the LAPD statement said.

A crisis negotiation team allowed Zinkiewitz’s brother to speak with him, and Zinkiewitz moved closer to the officers, who took him into custody.

A weapon was not recovered, the LAPD said.

Zinkiewitz was booked on two burglary warrants and felony evasion, according to the LAPD. He is in jail with no bail amount set, according to L.A. County sheriff records.


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