A man taking part in a Holy Thursday processional in South Los Angeles was struck by a car during a police pursuit, leaving him hospitalized in critical condition.
The crash occurred in the 100 block of 87th Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Officers were pursuing a driver, possibly wanted for an assault with a deadly weapon charge, when he struck the man, continued driving and then ditched the car a short time later.
The congregation of Mother of Sorrows Church was forming a procession outside for Holy Thursday when the man was struck.
Carlos Ramos said the victim was leading the procession and making sure the street was clear so it could be safe for people to gather.
Ramos saw the driver hit a security cruiser, swerve and then hit the victim. The victim slammed against another vehicle and fell to the ground head first, he said.
The driver was later arrested on suspicion of felony evading with injury.
"Any pursuit is dangerous for the community, it's dangerous for our police officers, it's dangerous for the suspect," said LAPD Lt. Dave Ferry. "It's inherently dangerous.
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"This particular person is an alleged gang member wanted for a serious crime."
The victim, a man described to be in his 50s, was taken to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition.