Two robbery suspects were in custody Tuesday after a dangerous police chase that saw the suspect vehicle narrowly missing other vehicles whose paths it crossed until it wound up crashed into an Echo Park bus stop.
The pursuit lasted more than a hour after it began around 3:30 p.m. on North Avenue 50 in Highland Park following a robbery reported at an automotive repair and parts shop, according to Los Angeles Police Detective Meghan Aguilar.
Two men inside a tan GMC SUV were seen throwing items out of the vehicle as they spent the better part of the hour circling city streets downtown, veering into oncoming traffic and barely avoiding collisions with pedestrians and other vehicles.
Witness David Howe said "half of downtown was completely a mess."
The chase eventually ended around 4:45 p.m. after the GMC spun out of control, rear-ending the car in front of it and striking the door of a parked vehicle at the intersection of Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park.
"It then hit another vehicle and a bus stop," Aguilar said. "Those other vehicles that it struck were occupied; fortunately, the people in those vehicles were uninjured."
At one point, the driver appeared as if he was attempting to get into another vehicle where someone was already behind the wheel. The suspects then fled in opposite directions down Sunset Boulevard, but were soon chased down by officers and taken into custody.
The driver, a man in his 20s, was armed with a handgun that was immediately confiscated, police said.
Both men were being held on suspicion of robbery and evasion, and authorities said they could face other charges.
Additional evidence found in the SUV ties the suspects to the robbery, according to LAPD.
Officers are now sifting through crime reports to determine if the men were involved in other robberies.
"Why they were so evasive and put the public at such danger, we're not sure," Aguilar said.