A California Highway Patrol officer is being praised after he put himself at risk during a pursuit to protect other drivers, driving head on into the suspect's car and continuing the chase on foot to ensure the driver was taken into custody.
The CHP picked up a high-speed pursuit in Baldwin Park on Feb. 1 after El Monte police discontinued the pursuit due to excessive speeds.
Officer Anthony Carlevaro had just started to bring traffic to a halt when the suspect entered the 10 Freeway driving the wrong direction.
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Carlevaro drove head on into the suspect's car, a legal move the CHP is allowed to perform, in order to protect drivers who were stopped on the freeway. The two cars crashed into each other at speeds of 25 to 30 mph.
"I made the decision to prevent him from passing my location and possibly being involved in a head on collision," he said.
Although Carlevaro's car was badly damaged and the airbag deployed, he continued to chase the suspect.
"He was able to do the intervention, and he had the mindset of being able to get out of the vehicle even though his vehicle became disabled, he was still able to get out and go in a foot pursuit and assist in taking the suspect into custody," said Capt. Greg Hammond of CHP Baldwin Park.
Hammond said his officer did what he was trained to do in what was a stressful and dangerous situation.
"This is when you find out what someone's true character is," Hammond said. "He stepped up and did exactly what I would expect for any of my staff to do, and I am very proud of his efforts."