Los Angeles

U-Haul Pursuit Ends With a Kiss and Hug After Standoff

The driver continued after she collided with a car at an intersection in Montebello

The passenger in an allegedly stolen U-Haul pickup truck kissed and hugged the driver as the pair were taken into custody after a pursuit Wednesday through communities south of downtown Los Angeles and into the Montebello area.

The passenger-side front tire shredded during the more than hour-long pursuit, but the driver continued on the wheel rim on streets and freeways. The driver crashed into a car at an intersection on Whittier Boulevard in the Montebello area before coming to a stop a few blocks later.

Officials identified the driver as 24-year-old Trisha Martinez and her passenger as 29-year-old Harold Escobar Chavez, who is on probation for carjacking.

Officers with weapons drawn took up positions in the lot of a nearby car dealership as the driver and passenger took time getting out of the pickup. An armored police vehicle was parked in front of the pickup.

Eventually, the woman got out of the truck. The man embraced her as she held her hands above her head to comply with officers’ orders. The pair kissed before officers used a stun gun to break up the farewell hug. Officers then took the two into custody.

Attorney information for the two was not immediately available.

The pursuit began in the Bell Gardens and South Gate areas around 11 a.m. before entering Vernon on the 110 Freeway. The driver headed south into Long Beach, exiting and entering freeways with what appeared to be a pink bag, suitcase and other items that appeared to be diapers in the truck bed.

The driver also went through at least one stop sign and nearly struck a car at an intersection on Atlantic Boulevard in Bell Gardens. A few miles later in Commerce, someone appeared to hand something to a passenger in the truck. That person, who was identified as 31-year-old Edwin Monroy, was arrested for obstruction of law enforcement, according to police.

Monroy handed Chavez a rolled up t-shirt. When police got a hold of the shirt, there was nothing inside. His relationship with the couple remains unclear.

The couple was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for possible drug and alcohol intoxication.

NBC4 is attempting to gather details about the condition of the other driver involved in the crash.

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