Driver Throws Flare During Standoff with Officers After Pursuit in Thousand Oaks

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A driver was taken into custody after leading California Highway Patrol on a pursuit Saturday night before coming to a standoff on the northbound 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, blocking traffic for hours.

CHP began chasing the vehicle for reckless driving in Corona, officials said. Gil Leyvas was over the scene in Newschopper4 Bravo around 8:48 p.m.

The driver lead CHP officers through the San Gabriel Valley and the San Fernando Valley for over an hour, and could be seen throwing what appeared to be flares out of the window. They did not go off.

Eventually, the vehicle lost a front tire to a spike strip, causing the driver to stop on the 101 Freeway.

The driver then rolled the window down and threw a flare, which rolled to the center divider in a flash of light.

Crisis negotiators and family members attempted to make contact with the driver, who seemed distraught, Leyvas reported. The driver may have been carrying gasoline and more flares in the vehicle.


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A Sig Alert was issued at 10:25 p.m. and all northbound lanes were closed for police activity while the driver did not comply with officers.

During the standoff and arrest, a large group gathered on the side of the highway to watch it all unfold despite social distancing rules.

A driver fleeing CHP all the way from Chino Hills ended up losing a tire and throwing a flare at officers in Thousand Oaks. As seen on the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Saturday, May 9, 2020.

At around midnight on Sunday, Moorpark CHP tweeted that the driver was in custody.

The freeway opened up Sunday morning.

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