Wheelman in epic L.A. car chase that involved TMZ bus is sentenced to two years in prison

Wheelman in epic L.A. car chase that involved TMZ bus is sentenced to two years in prison
Herschel Reynolds, 20, was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday for his role in a wild car chase in April that spanned across Los Angeles. (Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

The military-trained driver who led Los Angeles police on a dramatic chase that included doughnuts on a freeway overpass and an almost Hollywood-scripted near collision with a TMZ tour bus was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday, prosecutors said.

Herschel Reynolds, 20, was sentenced after pleading no-contest to charges of burglary and fleeing from police while driving recklessly, according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Reynolds' passenger, Isaiah Dewayne Young, 19, pleaded guilty to the same charges and received the same sentence, according to the statement.


Reynolds and Young were charged with breaking into a home in Cerritos on April 7, before leading police on a two-hour chase that seemed bent on completing a bingo card filled with quintessentially — and in some cases, stereotypically — L.A. things and places. The pair sped across the city in a rented convertible, top down, weaving down the Walk of Fame and performing doughnuts on Hollywood Boulevard.

At one point, the vehicle was cut off by a TMZ tour bus, and one of the suspects appeared to hurl a sandwich at it before speeding off.

The chase came to a peaceful end that was captured by television cameras in South L.A., as Reynolds and Washington drove to a home and received a hero's welcome. They celebrated their exploits for several minutes before surrendering to arriving sheriff's deputies.

Reynolds has been a trained tactical driver for the U.S. Marines before he was "prematurely discharged" in January.

"The character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps' expectations and standards," the Pentagon said earlier this year.

Reynolds was also booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in May, after UCLA police said he struck a man with a motorcycle and tried to steal his cellphone in Westwood.

Reynolds pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor "hit-and-run" offense last month, and will be sentenced in that case next week, according to court records.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.


4:20 p.m.: This story was updated with additional information about separate criminals charges against Reynolds.

This story first published at 3:30 p.m.