‘I know you are looking for me,’ man in jail shirt says before leading L.A. police on chase
A man allegedly high on methamphetamine and wearing a Los Angeles County Jail shirt taunted police and led them on a high-speed chase Wednesday through the San Fernando Valley before slamming into a utility pole, police said.
Los Angeles police learned early Wednesday of a man being pursued by school police officers who suspected him of stealing a dark-colored pickup truck, said Capt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Valley Patrol Division.
At some point, the pursuit by the school officers ended and the man got away, Vernon said. Within the hour, however, a man in a dark-colored truck drove alongside L.A. police officers, blocking traffic, and said, “I know you are looking for me.”
The officers told him they were not and that he needed to move on since he was blocking traffic, Vernon said. As he pulled away, they ran a check on his license plate and discovered that the plate belonged to a different make and model of vehicle from the truck he was driving.
“At that point, the officers realized this was probably the truck the school police had pursued earlier, but lost, and that the truck, given the noncorresponding plate, was probably stolen,” Vernon said.
The LAPD officers then began pursuing him. The man drove erratically, veering into oncoming traffic and pointing the truck toward oncoming police cars as if he was going to hit them.
“It was kind of like a game of chicken,” Vernon said.
The man hit a silver car in the intersection of Saticoy Street and Reseda Boulevard in Reseda shortly before 11 a.m., Vernon said. The driver of that car, a woman in her 50s, was taken to a hospital but not seriously injured, he said.
After hitting the car, the man’s truck slammed into a utility pole, “shearing it so it was hanging in the air with the wires,” Vernon said. The man, who tried to fight with police officers before being detained, was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
The man was identified as Bryan Becerril, 23. Police said he had not yet been booked but would probably face charges of felony drugged driving and felony evading.
Streets in the area were temporarily closed because of the downed power lines, authorities said.
“The guy was tweaking,” Vernon said. “I have not seen a guy this high on meth in a long time.”
The man was fidgeting, shaking and sweating heavily, Vernon said. Methamphetamine was found in the area where he was arrested, and police believe he tossed it out of the truck, Vernon said.
The man was wearing a shirt that said “Los Angeles County Jail” across the back of his shoulders, Vernon said. Police were trying to determine if he was an inmate who had recently been released.
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