Driver in Custody After Slow-Speed Chase Leads Police to Long Beach Airport

The man appeared to be talking on a cellphone and punching the steering wheel as he slowly drove through surface streets and into the airport loop.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Traffic into Long Beach Airport was briefly halted Wednesday night while the driver involved in a low-speed pursuit was stopped near a terminal for nearly 30 minutes before officers stormed the car and took him into custody.

    The driver had been fluctuating speeds, traveling as low as 5 mph on surface streets and near 50 mph on the freeway. The chase began in the shoreline area of Long Beach.

    With hazards flashing, the driver appeared to obey traffic laws and stop at red lights as he moved along mostly clear roadways.

    At about 9:40 p.m., the driver pulled into a lane leading to the Long Beach Airport terminal and parked. He appeared to violently wrench back and forth in the driver's seat.

    Wearing a tank top and jeans, the driver exited the car and threw a bag on the hood. He rifled through the bag for about five minutes before tossing it into the backseat. He briefly lingered around the driver's side of the car before officers stormed the car, tackled the driver and took him into custody.

    According to the airport's website, the last plane to land in Long Beach touched down at 9:31 p.m., nearly an hour before the pursued driver pulled into the area. The chase forced the closure of the roadway that loops around the airport terminals, and a crowd could be seen gathered near an airport door.

    This was the second police pursuit that has wound through Southland streets Wednesday. Earlier in the day, a driver lead police on a dangerous high-speed chase from the San Gabriel Valley east to Redlands before surrendering on the 10 Freeway.

    That driver was taken into custody after the chase, which lasted for more than an hour.

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