Bizarre police chase of carjacking suspect ends in Watts

SOUTH LOS ANGELES -- A carjacking suspect led police on a bizarre chase through the South Los Angeles and Inglewood area, at times stopping to talk to people.

The chase began in the 5000 block of Cimarron Street in South Los Angeles around 1:25 p.m. Police say the suspect used a handgun to carjack the green taxi.

The suspect mostly traveled at slow speeds. He went through a train crossing gate and was delayed when the train approached. He ended up making a U-turn and continued the pursuit.

He slowed to chat with people on the street and appeared to hand children on a corner money. People on the street cheered him, some high-fiving the suspect and others taking selfies.

"It almost at times becomes kind of a circus atmosphere, and I don't think people are really looking and understanding that we're after this person because he's armed. We're after this person because he just committed a violent felony crime," said LAPD Cmdr. Phillip Tingiredes.

When the suspect was westbound on 92nd Street, he stopped to look at the ABC7 news van. But when officers started to get out of their patrol vehicles, he took off.

At other times during the two-hour chase, police say some drivers were trying to follow the officers.

"We assigned a supervisor and three additional units to the rear to try and keep people back," said Tingiredes.

The chase finally ended at the intersection of 103rd and Alameda streets in Watts at 3:26 p.m.

An LAPD armored SUV used the PIT maneuver to stop the Toyota Prius, and other SWAT vehicles immediately moved to block the suspect.

The suspect climbed out of the Prius and was taken into custody without further incident.

PHOTOS: Carjacking suspect leads police on slow-speed chase
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