A man suspected of car theft was arrested Thursday afternoon after allegedly running away from police and into a Lakewood home, where he was forced out through a tiny vent in the attic by what looked like tear gas.
When deputies approached the driver, he ran from the car and into a home at the corner of Del Amo Boulevard and Fidler Avenue in Lakewood, said Sgt. Daniel Gillepsie, a watch commander with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lakewood Station.
The man, whose identity was not being released late Thursday, has been booked on one felony count of car theft, and one misdemeanor count each of vandalism and trespassing.
It appears as though tear gas forced him out of the house. Plumes of white smoke could be seen billowing from vents on the roof before the man emerged shirtless through a gable vent in the attic.
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When the man finally wriggled out of the opening enough to sit on the ledge, his arms resting on the roof, firefighters leaned a ladder against the side of the home.
He appeared disoriented as he climbed down the ladder, first stopping to rest his head against the home and pull his up jeans. Meanwhile, smoke continued to waft from the gable vent from which he’d emerged.
Halfway down the ladder, the man stopped to against pull up his pants when a sheriff’s official tugged him down to the ground and he was taken into custody.
No one was inside when the man ran into the home, Gillepsie said. No nearby residences were evacuated.