Police chase: Suspect seen inhaling gas smoked out of vehicle after 5-hour standoff in Compton
COMPTON, Calif. - A reckless DUI suspect, who was seen huffing a balloon while leading officers on a pursuit through a Compton neighborhood Thursday, was taken into custody shortly before 5:30 p.m. after a standoff that lasted roughly five hours.
The Los Angeles County sheriff's department's crisis negotiation team and the mental evaluation team were on the scene attempting to communicate with the driver, who had been refusing to get out of his vehicle.
He was eventually taken into custody after the sheriff's department used tear gas to force him out of the vehicle.
During the standoff, the suspect appeared to be inhaling nitrous straight from a tank and vaping an unknown substance in the driver's seat.
Officials had been deploying pepper balls in the vicinity of the truck, breaking a portion of the back window, in an attempt to get the driver out of the white pickup truck.
Earlier, the driver crossed a center divider and struck at least one patrol car. The driver was somehow able to evade at least three PIT maneuvers.
The pursuit came to a stop around 1 p.m. near Poplar Street and Wilmington Avenue once the driver hit a dead-end a few feet from the wash and got boxed in by authorities.
After a few minutes, the man tried to back into the law enforcement vehicles, but could not get away, spinning the tires and sending up a plume of smoke into the air. The deputies tossed a gas container into the cab of that pickup, but the standoff continued.
The suspect's aunt told FOX 11 she was in disbelief and tried to talk to her nephew to negotiate with him to exit the vehicle. She said her nephew is respectful but is greatly impacted by the recent passing of his grandfather. She believes he's been spiraling following his death.
The suspect is from Utah but was in LA visiting family.
Authorities said the driver would face charges of driving under the influence as well as assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
City News Service contributed to this report.