City News Service

Report of Man With Chain Saw Leads to Chaotic Scene in Torrance Storage Yard

Police opened fire on a man in Torrance after he was seen wielding a chainsaw, and then hopped in a truck to do "doughnuts" Tuesday morning, police said.

The ruckus began at 6:30 a.m. in the 17900 block of Yukon Avenue, just north of the 405 Freeway and across the street from Yukon Elementary School.

A tree trimming company hired the man for the day, Torrance police said. Prosecutors identified him as Jose Felix Campos Cortez of Compton.

Cortez threw a rock at a car, which is when the brouhaha began.

Police said he then got into a truck and began spinning out, and even grabbed a chain saw to cause damage.

A security guard in the storage yard called police, and when officers arrived, they began chasing the man. 

Video from a photographer on scene showed the man driving erratically in the truck, and at one point appeared to back up near the officers on foot.

The truck crashed into another parked truck, and officers opened fire.

Cortez was not hit, but officers said he suffered minor injuries.

The man was taken into custody and was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism. He was also accused of trying to attack another employee, possibly his boss.

Cortez faces charges including attempted murder of a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism over $400.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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