A driver who led police on a wild chase through Hollywood in a convertible Mustang with his passenger dancing in the front seat was a former Marine who was trained to drive vehicles before he received an early discharge, a Marine Corps official said Friday.
A day after the pursuit that made national headlines, a Marine Corps spokesman confirmed the man behind the wheel, 20-year-old Herschel Reynolds, had served nearly two years before he was discharged last January. His occupational specialty was motor vehicle operation, said Capt. Dominic Pitrone.
Reynolds, who held the rank of private, was awarded National Defense and Global War on Terrorism service medals, though he had not been deployed, Pitrone said. He entered active duty in El Segundo in April 2014 and was last assigned to logistics duty in Camp Pendleton.
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The high-speed chase made its way on and off highways on a rare day of rain in Southern California. Reynolds and his passenger, 19-year-old Isaiah Young, were wanted in connection with a burglary.
With the top down on a late-model Ford Mustang, they took a joyride through multiple cities, doing doughnuts on a freeway overpass and slipping by a TMZ tour bus that apparently tried to block them on the 101 Freeway.
The chase came to an end in South Los Angeles, where the suspects exchanged high-fives and took selfies with bystanders before officers caught up and took them into custody.