A dangerous pursuit led police through the streets of Los Angeles on Friday. Three suspects are in custody after bailing from the vehicle in South LA. Hetty Chang reports from South LA for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on March 1, 2013.
At least three people, including a driver who appeared to be female, ran from a blue Audi sedan after a pursuit that began in the San Gariel Valley and ended in a spinout in South Los Angeles Friday afternoon.
The occupants, wanted in connection with a residential burglary that took place in Duarte Friday morning, were taken into custody after sprinting from the vehicle at the chase's end at 71st Street and Broadway.
The three suspects -- 26-year-old Keitra Penn, 22-year-old Mario Gibson and 18-year-old Robert Leroy -- were booked at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Temple Station on charges of residential burglary and evading law enforcement. The trio, all from LA, is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
The burglary was reported in the 300 block of Spinks Canyon Road in Duarte, where a suspect vehicle was reported leaving the scene. Sheriff's Department deputies pursued the vehicle onto the 605 freeway then onto the westbound 60 Freeway.
The California Highway Patrol took control of the chase as it neared downtown Los Angeles and headed onto surface streets.
The driver sped away from a downtown LA intersection after a California Highway Patrol officer exited his vehicle with his gun drawn. Shots were not fired, according to the CHP.
"Law enforcement always faces a very difficult choice," said sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker. "If you allow a person to go, are they going to drive recklessly and hit someone? At least if there are officers behind them with red lights and sirens, the public has a chance of being warned."
A CHP officer attempted a pursuit intervention (PIT) maneuver, sending the Audi onto a sidewalk south of USC, but the driver sped away and continued to elude officers. A rear tire of the vehicle appeared to deflate after striking the curb.
The driver sideswiped several vehicles during the chase before spinning after a second PIT maneuver. The three suspects then ran from the vehicle, but were taken into custody after a foot pursuit.
The driver, who ran into an alley but was quickly tackled by three officers, appeared in aerial video to be a young long-haired woman. High-profile police pursuits in Southern California are only infrequently involve female drivers.
Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles School Police units joined the pursuit. Aerial video showed smoke coming from an LAPD cruiser after the pursuit.