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Gordon Tokumatsu, Sue Monroe, David Gregory
Police on Monday night said they still hadn't caught the man who evaded officers for several hours in his vehicle and then on foot. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Pacoima for the NBC4 News at 11pm on Sept. 10, 2012.
The search continued Monday night for a driver that evaded officers for hours after he led police on a pursuit through freeways and side streets, jumped out of the vehicle and scaled several fences in the residential area, according to the California Highway Patrol.
"We don't know if he's broken out of the perimeter, there was a lot of confusion initially," said Lt. Mitzi Fierro with LAPD.
Update, Sept. 11, 2012: At-Large Suspect an Anomaly in Police Chases, Data Shows
Initial reports from CHP noted that officers tried to pull over a dark-colored truck because of its tinted windows. Later Monday, LAPD officials said the stop was part of a narcotics investigation.
At least three people were inside the vehicle when the pursuit began at about about 4:45 p.m. in Arcadia.
During the pursuit, a woman exited the vehicle at Woodman Avenue and Osborne Street, where she was taken into custody, CHP officials said.
Another person jumped out of the truck while it was travelling under a canopy of trees. That man was also taken into custody, police said.
The pursuit turned into a foot chase after the driver jumped out of the truck shortly after 6 p.m. -- more than an hour after the pursuit had started -- near Osborne Street and Telfair Avenue. Officers detained a man near the area where the suspect was last seen, but he was later released, according to CHP.
K-9 units, CHP and LAPD officers set up a perimeter and scoured the area for several hours searching garages and backyards before breaking down the perimeter at about 9:15 p.m., according to CHP.
Pacoima residents were told to lock their doors and stay in their homes while the search was underway. That lockdown was lifted Monday night.
Police say that although the suspect has managed to evade officers for several hours, they've gathered leads from the man's vehicle left at the scene and residents that reported seeing the driver in their backyard.
"He kind of looked like he was scared, but at the same time he was really fast," said Pedro Tovar.
The afternoon pursuit started in Arcadia before winding through the westbound 134 Freeway to the northbound 170 Freeway, where traffic was light, and onto side streets in Arleta and Pacoima, officials said.
As the pursuit barreled down the freeway, the driver reached speeds at times in excess of 80 mph. Speeds slowed down significantly when the pursuit transitioned onto residential streets and appeared to escalate after the second person jumped from the vehicle.
At 5:25 p.m., squad cars were tailing the truck through residential streets in Arleta, where the driver circled the neighborhood several times.
At times, the driver blew through red lights, narrowly missed other vehicles and manuevered through occaisionally heavy traffic, which he usually encountered near commercial areas in Arleta and Pacoima.
Officers ran the vehicle's plates and were reportedly staking out the driver's Arleta home, officials said.