Po­lice chase ends in ar­rest

Woman drives stolen U-Haul truck through open-air mar­ket and rams an LAPD cruiser.

Los Angeles Times - - CITY & STATE - By Joseph Serna joseph.serna@la­times.com

A woman driv­ing a stolen U-Haul truck led po­lice on a wild chase through down­town Los Angeles on Thurs­day and ap­peared to be singing or talk­ing to her­self as she swerved through traf­fic and ul­ti­mately plowed into veg­etable crates and a po­lice cruiser in­side a pedes­trian pro­duce mar­ket.

The pur­suit, which was broad­cast live via he­li­copter, be­gan just be­fore 10 a.m. near 61st Street and Broad­way in South L.A., po­lice said.

For roughly 30 min­utes, the driver threaded the box­like truck through stop­lights and heavy traf­fic, and clipped at least one ve­hi­cle as she gunned the truck into on­com­ing traf­fic at high speed.

She led Los Angeles po­lice north into down­town’s Fash­ion District, where the truck bar­reled down nar­row al­ley­ways and barely missed hit­ting pedes­tri­ans and work­ers.

The driver then swerved into down­town’s mas­sive open-air pro­duce mar­ket at South Cen­tral Av­enue and 7th Street. Af­ter slam­ming into crates of veg­eta­bles and caus­ing work­ers and shop­pers to back away, the driver ap­peared to have got­ten trapped as po­lice cruis­ers pulled up to box her in. But af­ter mak­ing about a half­dozen moves, she turned the U-Haul around and headed out of the mar­ket.

On its way out, the UHaul rammed the front of a po­lice SUV. An of­fi­cer emerged and pointed his weapon at the cab of the truck. He fired, but missed hit­ting the driver, of­fi­cials said.

The woman drove out of the mar­ket, only to re­turn mo­ments later. Af­ter crash­ing into more boxes of pro­duce, she stopped, jumped out of the cab and ran, but was quickly ap­pre­hended by of­fi­cers.

The driver, who still ap­peared to be shout­ing, re­sisted of­fi­cers as they tried to place her in a cruiser. Video showed po­lice putting a “spit sock” around her mouth and re­straints on her hands and legs.

“She was not hav­ing a good day,” said Of­fi­cer Drake Madi­son of the LAPD.

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