The driver and passenger of a stolen U-Haul truck were taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after they led police on a slow-speed chase through southwest Los Angeles County, then exited the vehicle on a major Montebello thoroughfare and kissed.
The drama, which was captured by television helicopters, ended on Whittier Boulevard and 3rd Street shortly before 12:30 p.m., when officers used a stun gun to subdue a man who exited the vehicle but refused to stop hugging and kissing the woman who had been driving the pickup. The relationship between the man and woman was unclear and it appeared that the woman was trying to surrender to police as the man clung to her and kissed her.
The incident began after 10:30 a.m. when the driver was pulled over by police in Bell Gardens, but then drove off again. It was then that officers learned the vehicle was stolen, said Bell Gardens Police Lt. Christopher Hubner.
From there, the driver motored through neighboring communities with half a dozen police vehicles in pursuit.
The vehicle was going so slow that at one point a pedestrian ran up to the vehicle and handed a package to the passenger. Police detained the pedestrian, Hubner said. It was not clear what was in the package.
Later in the chase, the truck’s right front tire popped, but that didn’t stop the driver. The chase continued for at least an additional 20 minutes while the tire slowly disintegrated, with bits of rubber and tread being flung onto the street and sidewalk.
Just before noon, the vehicle collided with another truck in an intersection. That also failed to stop the driver.
The chase continued for several more blocks with the truck driving over a street median until it finally came to a stop near the intersection of Whittier Boulevard and Third Street. The driver and passenger refused to leave the truck as police lined up behind the vehicle and waited for them to surrender.
After roughly 30 minutes, the pair finally exited the vehicle, but the man held the woman in an embrace and refused to let go of her as she held her hands behind her head. He released her and fell to the ground however when a police officer pressed a stun gun against his ankle.
The pair, who had tossed bags and other items from the truck, were then taken into custody.