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91 Freeway in O.C. reopens after 2-hour standoff; suspect in custody

91 Freeway in O.C. reopens after 2-hour standoff; suspect in custody
The driver ofa black Mercedes-Benz led police on an hours-long chase, resulting in a standoff on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim. (KTLA-TV)

An hours-long pursuit and standoff that forced the closure of the 91 Freeway in Anaheim came to an end Thursday night with authorities firing tear gas into a black Mercedes-Benz and taking the driver into custody.

Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt confirmed to The Times that the unidentified suspect was taken into custody shortly before 9:40 p.m.

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Both directions of the freeway were reopened shortly after 10 p.m., after being closed for about two hours, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Aerial TV images showed a throng of police vehicles surrounding the stopped car, which was linked to a gun assault, according to Lt. Daniel Holguin of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

A SWAT team from the Sheriff's Department and the Anaheim Police Department's specialized "rapid response" team assisted in detaining the suspect.

The standoff snarled traffic, causing backups in both directions of the freeway near Orange County's border with Riverside County. The CHP was forced to redirect westbound 91 Freeway traffic onto the northbound 71 Freeway.

The chase began shortly after 6 p.m. near Rosecrans and Central avenues in Compton, where the driver fled and led authorities on a winding pursuit into Orange County, Holguin said.

The CHP used spike strips on the 91 Freeway, which flattened some of the tires on the suspect's Mercedes-Benz, according to an L.A. County sheriff's official.

The black Mercedes was thought to be linked to an assault with a handgun involving four suspects that occurred Monday in the 9600 block of Miramonte Boulevard, Holguin said.

The suspect was described as dangerous, and at one point during the chase, the driver appeared to strike at least six cars.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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