Authorities Detain Driver of Stolen Camry on Southbound 405 Freeway in Hawthorne Following Lengthy Pursuit

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Officials took the driver of a stolen vehicle into custody on the southbound 405 Freeway in the Hawthorne area following a 70-mile pursuit that stretched from the Inland Empire to South Bay on Thursday.

The chase began around 6:25 p.m. when a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy tried to stop the stolen Toyota Camry near the intersection of Peyton and Olympic View drives in Chino Hills. The motorist failed to yield, sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.

The pursuit ended around 8:10 p.m. when the driver was taken into custody in Hawthorne following a successful PIT maneuver.

A pursuit driver narrowly evades patrol vehicles that attempted to trap him on the 210 Freeway in the San Gabriel Valley on April 12, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

A pursuit driver narrowly evades patrol vehicles that attempted to trap him on the 210 Freeway in the San Gabriel Valley on April 12, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

The California Highway Patrol assumed control of the chase around 6:40 p.m. on the 57 Freeway in the San Dimas area, according to CHP Officer Rubio.

Sky5 was first over the incident around 6:45 p.m. on the 210 Freeway in the Azusa area as patrol vehicles nearly had the sedan cornered. Despite a PIT maneuver attempted by a CHP SUV driver, the Camry was able to  escape authorities while making a U-turn in freeway lanes.

The motorist fled swiftly in a straight shot down the 210 Freeway toward Pasadena until it turned into the 134 Freeway, with several patrol vehicles behind. San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies resumed control of the chase in Pasadena, near Hill Avenue, Miller said.

At one point around 7 p.m., it appeared the driver was changing his or her clothes while driving with the window down.

About 10 minutes later, the Camry headed past downtown Glendale and continued through the Burbank area, where the chase encountered traffic. The pursuit driver was seen using the shoulder to evade other vehicles.

By 7:20 p.m., the driver could be seen smoking a cigarette as he merged onto the 101 Freeway in the Toluca Lake area. There was traffic on the 101, but vehicles moved out of the way and the Toyota was able to continue in the freeway lanes at a speed that appeared to be around the speed limit.

But soon after, around 7:30 p.m., the driver knocked into a white car in lanes, and then a patrol vehicle rammed into the Camry, causing it to again hit the white car. But the white car moved forward and the Camry was able to scoot away. It exited the freeway, making a U-turn to go the wrong way on a transition road between the 101 and the 405 freeways, narrowly missing a big rig and other vehicles.

Then the driver hooked another U-turn onto the southbound 405 Freeway, where it made its way into the carpool lane as dusk fell, with other drivers still merging to the side of the freeway to let the chase pass.

Though it grew dark, the motorist didn't turn the car's lights on.

Authorities chase a Toyota Camry on the southbound 405 Freeway in the West L.A. area on April 12, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Authorities chase a Toyota Camry on the southbound 405 Freeway in the West L.A. area on April 12, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

The pursuit slowed its pace as traffic grew more dense on the 405 Freeway around 7:40 p.m. As the chase neared the Highway 90 interchange in Culver City, CHP reassumed control, Miller said.

The car continued through Inglewood and into Hawthorne, maintaining a relatively slow pace as red-and-blue lights flashed close behind.

A CHP SUV executed a PIT maneuver in the area of Rosecrans Avenue, successfully causing the car to flip around and become trapped by authorities' vehicles.

The pursuit driver jumped into the backseat of the stolen car, where authorities said he smoke a meth pipe.

Officers unleashed a K-9, but officials said he tried to choke the dog using its collar. At that point, they used a "less-lethal" shotgun to break the car's windows and pull the man out, officers said.

He was handcuffed as officers held him down on the freeway, and was later loaded into the back of a CHP vehicle.

The suspect and Camry were taken to a nearby strip mall to be processed. Paramedics' evaluation determined the man had only suffered minor injuries. The Toyota had visibly suffered damage as well.

The driver has not been identified, but officials said he was a Latino man in his 20s. He was wearing an ankle monitor at the time, though authorities were unsure why.

Deputies were driving him to the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga Thursday night to be arrested on suspicion of grand theft auto, evading police and assault with a deadly a weapon on a police officer. Officials said the latter charge stems from the man using the Camry in attempt to ram authorities' vehicles.

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