A man who led authorities on a slow-moving chase across Orange County with his two children and their mother inside the vehicle and then held officers at bay during a bizarre roadside standoff managed to slip away on foot after running into a nearby park Monday night.
Officers chased after the man, running up a hillside and into Castaways Park using flashlights to find their way in the darkness, video from the scene showed. The sound of gunshots could be also be heard. It was not clear who was firing.
The woman and her children appeared to be unharmed and could be seen walking with officers to a nearby patrol car.
The unidentified driver was wanted for violating a restraining order, according to Lt. Al Martinez with the Huntington Park Police Department. It was not known who filed for the restraining order.
The suspect's vehicle appeared to be a gray Hummer H3 and was first being chased by officers just before 5 p.m. The SUV was proceeding smoothly through traffic, and several Buena Park police patrol cars were following. It was unclear why Buena Park officers attempted to stop the Hummer.
Just before 5:15 p.m., the Hummer headed onto the southbound 5 Freeway and traveled through Anaheim and Santa Ana.
As the vehicle approached heavier freeway congestion in the Orange Crush area, it bypassed traffic on the right shoulder.
CHP units joined police, apparently taking over the chase.
The Hummer headed onto southbound State Route 55 shortly after 5:30 p.m., and then onto the southbound 405 Freeway through Irvine.
The vehicle exited on southbound Jamboree Road and traveled through Irvine and into Newport Beach, where it entered a foggy area that made it difficult to monitor from Sky5. The Hummer stopped at red lights, waiting for them to turn green, with four CHP units a few dozen feet behind.
Before heading onto the freeway, the pursuit took place on surface streets in La Mirada, Whittier and the Buena Park area.
The driver pulled over in Newport Beach around 6:15 p.m. near Pacific Coast Highway and Jamboree Road. He then moved about a block down PCH and remained parked there for hours, at times talking on the phone and appearing to cry.
During the standoff, the man got in and out of the vehicle several times. He was seen holding one small child, while another youngster could be seen looking out from the sunroof.