car chase

Man Dies After Falling From Crane Following Pursuit, Hours-Long Standoff

The pursuit included four different police departments as the man weaved into opposite lanes and reached speeds of 90 mph on surface streets

The Port of Los Angeles said Thursday it is reviewing security measures after a man fell from a crane and died following a high-speed chase and an hourslong standoff that was caught on camera.

The man led officers on a chase in what police said was a stolen SUV. The driver ditched the vehicle at the Port of Los Angeles and climbed high up a structure, danced on a catwalk and did a headstand before falling to his death.

"At the direction of Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, Los Angeles Port Police, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department, have launched a full investigation into all circumstances regarding Wednesday evening’s incident, including the security breach at the container terminal," Port of Los Angeles officials said in a statement released Thursday. "This thorough review, including protocols necessary to address improvements, will be completed as soon as possible."

The coroner's office on Thursday identified the man as 23-year-old James Lllamas. Officials did not know his city of residence.

The pursuit began at 3:11 p.m. and went from Carson to San Pedro. It included four different police departments as Llamas weaved into opposite lanes and reached speeds of 90 mph on surface streets. Police even lost track of the vehicle at one point.

Llamas also stuck his head out the window momentarily, apparently exchanging words with sheriff's deputies.

As he continued evading police, Llamas entered a dock at the Port of Los Angeles, driving erratically as he went around in circles trying to make his way out.

Llamas, wearing a Kobe Bryant Lakers jersey, got out of the moving vehicle and climbed up a tower, making his way to the catwalk of a crane. He walked around and even danced and hung his head over the edge, as officers below tried to figure out a way to get him down.

The hourslong standoff took a deadly turn around 9:30 p.m. when he fell 160 feet off the crane. It was not immediately clear if the fall was accidental or intentional. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. 

The driver allegedly stole the SUV around 9:30 a.m. from the Subaru Dealership of San Bernardino.

A salesman who helped him said he was acting erratically and hesitant.

"I kind of let him be because he seemed on edge," said Eric Nosser, the salesman.

He was able to take the car since employees were going to wash the vehicle, leaving the keys in the ignition.

Authorities said the man had a criminal past that included non-violent and violent offenses. 

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