Chase suspect in custody after running over scooter rider in hourslong pursuit spanning LA, San Diego counties

Carlos Granda Image
Friday, January 4, 2019
Chase suspect runs over person during hourslong pursuit
A chase suspect was taken into custody after hitting a scooter rider during a chase that stretched from L.A. to San Diego County Thursday.

LOS ANGELES -- A chase suspect was taken into custody after running over a scooter rider during a chase that stretched from Los Angeles to San Diego County Thursday.

Culver City police chased the suspect, who authorities said failed to yield, on Washington Boulevard. The red, older-model Honda Civic had a cracked windshield and a hole in the rear window.

Authorities initially reported that the vehicle may have been stolen but later said it was not.

At one point near the 7800 block of W. Manchester Avenue in the Playa del Rey area, the suspect struck a pedestrian who was on a scooter and ran over the man. The suspect, later identified by authorities as Karl Flores, never stopped and continued driving.

Authorities said the victim's injuries were not life-threatening. The scooter was not a Bird or Lime, it belonged to the victim, according to the LAPD.


An eyewitness told police the scooter rider was awake and talking when he was taken to the hospital.

"As far as what the witnesses were saying, the victim went up and possibly under the car... He was sent to the hospital. He is going to make a recovery, as far as I've heard," said LAPD Sgt. Tom Trandal.

Eventually the suspect made it into Inglewood, passing red lights and intersections while traveling at moderate speeds.

While driving on La Tijera Boulevard, a police cruiser attempted a PIT maneuver that sent the vehicle spinning. Flores, who ended up facing the other direction, paused for a moment and then turned around to continue fleeing from police.

Soon after, on Westchester Parkway, another PIT maneuver was done, but Flores managed to turn around and flee again.

Moments later, a stronger PIT maneuver was attempted, but the driver fled again despite being partially boxed in. During that fourth attempt, the vehicle's bumper fell off and the suspect fled at high speeds.

The California Highway Patrol took over the wild chase at about 12:10 p.m. just north of Carson.

Flores then led authorities onto the southbound 405 Freeway near Marina del Rey. The chase continued on the southbound freeway through Long Beach into Orange County.

Authorities and the suspect merged onto the southbound 5 Freeway near San Juan Capistrano around 1 p.m. - two hours after the chase started.

Flores eventually pulled over on the southbound 5 Freeway near Camp Pendleton in San Diego County around 1:30 p.m. after running out of gas, authorities said. Officers surrounded the car with their weapons drawn as a standoff went on for several minutes. Sheriff's officials said the suspect was not complying with commands.

Shortly after 2 p.m., Flores opened the car door, at which point officers swarmed the vehicle. Authorities said a less-than-lethal shotgun was fired, and a bean bag hit the suspect in the face. CHP also released a K-9, who pulled the suspect further out of the car.

Flores was taken into custody and being treated for the bean bag wound to the face. He was later released from a hospital in Oceanside.

CHP officials said they spoke to the suspect's wife, who said Flores served in the military and suffers from PTSD.

A person who identified herself as the suspect's friend -- who saw ABC7's coverage -- called the station and said Flores is a troubled veteran.

"He served for us, he was in Afghanistan and Iraq," she said. "We have tried to get help with the VA but with it being so backed up and such a long wait list, it's hard to get treatment for any of our veterans. When is enough going to be enough? These people, like I said, are constantly putting their lives on the line for us, and what are we doing to return the help?"