LAPD Officer Recounts Surreal Moment Woman Drove Car With Infant Inside Into Harbor Station

The Los Angeles police officer on duty when a car drove into the agency's Harbor Division station in Wilmington over the weekend spoke about the incident on Monday and said the female driver was subsequently arrested.

The woman was behind the wheel of a white sedan when she was caught on video ramming the vehicle into the lobby of the station at 2175 John S. Gibson Blvd., just outside San Pedro, around 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

The car eventually came to a stop in front of the reception desk.

Sgt. James Talmage, who was the watch commander on duty at the time, said he couldn't believe his eyes when he came out to investigate the commotion in the lobby.

"You plan for a lot of things, and I haven't talked to anybody that's planned for somebody driving their car into the station," he said.

Talmage said it sounded like an explosion.

"I told my supervisors, I don't know what I expected to find — but I didn't expect to find a car in the lobby."

Talmage said he approached the driver, identified as 29-year-old Michelle Betancourt of Wilmington, and tried to get her to turn off the car.

"I went to find out what happened and I saw right away in the back of the woman's car there was a car seat with an infant in it," he told KTLA.

The sergeant said Betancourt was acting hysterical and wouldn't follow his commands. She then allegedly began backing up while Talmage was still positioned behind her open driver's side door.

"I told her to stop and that she was going to kill me," Talmage said.

However, he was able to escape without injury.

Betancourt wound up slamming into a pillar that prevented her from fleeing, according to Talmage.

"Her car couldn't go anywhere so she sat out there, stayed on the gas of the car until the engine stopped and we were able to take her out of the car," he said.

Both Betancourt and the child were taken to a nearby hospital for medical evaluation, but neither were hurt, officials said.

Betancourt was subsequently arrested on suspicion of child endangerment and vandalism. She was held on $105,000 bail before being released Tuesday.

The entrance to the station remained covered in plywood and tire skid marks could be seen cutting across the lobby on Monday.

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