UCI student arrested after CHP pursuit in L.A.

An international student at UC Irvine led authorities on a pursuit Thursday night that at times reached 122 mph, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Yuan Zhou, 18, was arrested around 9:15 p.m. after a CHP cruiser maneuvered to stop the car on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. 

The pursuit began around 8:30 p.m. when Zhou's BMW allegedly blazed by a patrol vehicle on the northbound 5 Freeway at Atlantic Boulevard in the Commerce area.

Zhou then transitioned to the westbound 10 Freeway and continued westbound, "weaving in and out of traffic, using the right shoulder to pass vehicles and driving at speeds up to 122 mph," according to a CHP news release.

Zhou then turned north on Pacific Coast Highway, authorities said.

CHP Sgt. Elizabeth Van Valkenburgh later told KTLA-TV that two passengers riding in the car thought they were going to Laguna Beach.

"They were going the wrong direction," Valkenburgh said.

A CHP patrol car maneuvered to gently nudge Zhou's car into a stop. Zhou was arrested on suspicion of felony evading.

The passengers, Wangshuang Zhou and Lu Chen, international students at UC Irvine, were taken to a gas station near LAX to catch transportation back to their residence, authorities said. 

Law enforcement sources said the driver told authorities he was unaware he was being pursued, KTLA reported.


Newport Beach crash

Also on Thursday night, a police pursuit ended in Newport Beach after an alleged drunk driver crashed into another vehicle.

Newport Beach Police Department Sgt. Joe Cartwright said Friday that it was still unclear what led to the pursuit, which began around 10:24 p.m. in the area of Cliff Drive and Riverside Avenue.

The short pursuit ended about two miles away at the intersection of Dover and Mariners drives "when a suspect collided with another vehicle," Cartwright said.

"Both parties were transported ... due to their injuries," he said.

Cartwright said he believes both drivers remained in the hospital Friday morning, but that "we're kind of waiting for an update."

After the crash, 43-year-old Benjamin Lee Scanlan of Newport Beach was held on suspicion of felony driving under the influence causing bodily injury. 

Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook


Bloomekatz writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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