Tustin Pursuit Ends With Smiling DUI Suspect Climbing Atop Vehicle

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A slow-speed chase that began in Tustin early Wednesday ended with the driver, suspected of being under the influence of drugs, climbing atop his vehicle with a smile on his face as officers pointed their weapons at him.

Officers in Tustin started pursuing a Lincoln Navigator at 12:15 a.m. before the motorist ended up near the Placentia city line about half an hour later, said Patrol Sgt. Bryce Angel with Placentia police, who assisted in the incident.

With its tires flattened, the vehicle stopped, but the driver refused to roll down his window to communicate with the officers, Angel said.

That’s when they deployed less-lethal ammunition to break his rear window and sent a K-9 inside to force him out of the Navigator, the sergeant said.

“He obviously was not responding to our commands and he seemed to be looking off into the distance like he might be under the influence of some sort of controlled substance,” Angel said.

The driver, apparently smiling, then opened the right passenger door and climbed on top of the car, video from the scene shows. Police eventually managed to tackle him to the ground and restrain him.

The standoff lasted about 20 to 30 minutes, Angel said.

The DUI suspect, whose name has not been released, had blood on his face but appeared to be conscious as paramedics wheeled him into an ambulance.

Authorities provided no further details.


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