A man who donned a clown mask and a prop chainsaw while hanging out of the sunroof of a car during a multi-county chase has been charged, officials announced Wednesday.
Damik Disdier, 40, of Santa Ana, was charged with one count of fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle while driving recklessly, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Disdier pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from the chase on July 20. He is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 6.
During the pursuit, which started in Westminster about 3 p.m., the suspect was driving 2 to 3 mph in the fast lane of the 405 Freeway, the California Highway Patrol reported.
Disdier was seen sitting on top of a black BMW sedan while holding a chainsaw, and video footage from the incident showed the man wearing a clown mask and green wig.
Officers found the suspect and tried to pull him over, but he led them on a chase before transitioning to the 90 Freeway and heading toward Venice Beach on surface streets.
Disdier at one point, he allegedly climbed onto the roof of the BMW and gestured at CHP units before sitting back inside.
He finally stopped at the Ocean front Walk in Venice, where he got out and ran onto the beach, according to the CHP. He was eventually captured and taken into custody nearby as a crowd gathered.
Authorities searched the vehicle and determined the chainsaw was a toy prop.
A woman who had been riding in the car was questioned and later released.
The motive behind the bizarre incident remains unclear.
Bail for Disdier was set at $75,000. He faces three years in prison if convicted as charged.