Man Steps in Path of Slow-Speed Pursuit, Ending Chase

A bizarre slow-speed chase of a man in a convertible Ford Mustang ended peacefully Friday when a man stepped into traffic and in front of the car and stopped it, forcing the driver to surrender.

The man in the Mustang had a sign on the driver's side door reading, "Victory Parade," as he led police on pursuit at 10 mph with his hazard lights on in the western San Fernando Valley.

The man flashed victory signs, and waved and saluted at bystanders on sidewalks as he wove in and out of traffic while police followed along the main Valley drag, Ventura Boulevard.

The man had a beard and was wearing a newsboy cap. In addition to the sign on the driver's side door, a sign on the passenger-side door read: "victory" and below that "war over we win."

The pursuit began at 5:45 p.m. in Northridge after an off-duty firefighter called police to report an erratic driver, said LAPD Lt. John Jenal.

The pursuit ended about an hour later when an onlooker stepped into the path of the car. The Mustang driver appeared to try to wave the man away, but he didn't budge.

The driver got out of the car with his hands up and surrendered. He faces a less serious misdemeanor charge of evading arrest. Police said he has a history of mental illness and they believe he was having a "crisis."

The man who stopped the chase was intially detained by police but later released.

Witnesses were shocked to see him handcuffed at the scene.

"A slow-speed pursuit and then the guy that stopped the car got arrested?" said witness Kelsey Savoie. "I don't understand why that happened."

William Renaud said he thinks the man should get a reward.

"He was brave," he said.

Jenal said police do not condone someone "endangering themselves, impeding the road."

Rosa Ordaz contributed to this report.

Contact Us