A driver who pointed what appears to be a gun at officers prompted an erratic pursuit that ended in a crash at a Chase bank in Woodland Hills, where an hourslong standoff ensued, officials said Tuesday.
A Los Angeles police sergeant just after midnight tried to stop a BMW SUV on Ventura Boulevard in Van Nuys for a traffic violation, Detective Meghan Aguilar told KTLA.
That's when the driver took out what looked like a gun, Aguilar said. When police started chasing him, the suspect continued driving and traveled through the 101 and 134 freeways before exiting on Van Nuys Boulevard, the detective said.
According to a witness, the speeding driver performed doughnut maneuvers as three or four police patrol vehicles trailed behind. Soon, dozens of police cars were following him, the witness said.
Cellphone video shows a patrol vehicle slamming into the SUV at a large intersection.
The driver pointed the apparent firearm at officers multiple times during the pursuit, Aguilar said. It remained unclear later Tuesday whether or not it was a real gun, she said.
The pursuit continued for about an hour before officers deployed a spike strip and the driver crashed into a Chase bank near the intersection of Ventura Boulevard and Serrania Avenue in Woodland Hills, where the suspect refused to exit his vehicle for about four hours, LAPD said. At one point, he threatened an explosion with a gas canister, according to officials.
Footage from the scene shows the man sitting in the SUV, the front part heavily damaged as it faced the surrounding officers.
With help from the suspect's family members, crisis negotiators managed to persuade the driver to surrender, the Police Department said.
He was taken to the hospital by ambulance for injuries he suffered in the crash, officials said. Nobody else was hurt in the incident, according to LAPD.
Crews towed the SUV from the scene in Woodland Hills at around 8 a.m.
Authorities released no further information, including the suspect's name.