LOS ANGELES– Arraignment is scheduled Wednesday for a theft suspect who led officers on a strange six-hour-plus chase from South Los Angeles to Ontario that typically turned into a crawl.
Michael Zinkiewitz was charged Friday with 2 counts of running away a pursuing peace officer’s lorry, according to the Los Angeles County District Lawyer’s Office. He was explained by authorities as “struggling with a mental illness.”
The 35-year-old San Pedro citizen was apprehended about 1:30 a.m. Feb. 3 on the eastbound 10 Freeway near the Vineyard Opportunity exit in Ontario after the front driver-side rim of the silver Chevrolet Malibu he was driving fell off and sent sparks flying.
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Community Police headquarters gang system started going after Zinkiewitz near 65th Street and Vermont Avenue about 7 p.m. Feb. 2, after he scampered from a traffic stop, according to the LAPD.
Officers who pulled Zinkiewitz over “observed the suspect freaching under the seat and thought the suspect potentially was reaching for a weapon,” according to an LAPD statement. “Immediately, the officers stopped their approach and the suspect sped up away in his sedan.”
Multiple patrol lorries chased after the car as Zinkiewitz ran traffic signals, drove on the wrong side of streets and cut through car park to make turns, with tv news helicopter teams broadcasting the chase.
About 7:45 p.m., he entered the southbound 110 Freeway from westbound Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and traveled to where the freeway ends in San Pedro before making a U-turn and heading back north.
During the pursuit, Zinkiewitz’s household called the police department and offered the guy’s name to authorities, telling them he experiences mental illness, according to the LAPD.
” The incident leader coordinated a plan to provide help, strategies to de-escalate the circumstance, and a plea to the family so that the event might pertain to an end safely for the suspect and neighborhood,” the department stated in a declaration Wednesday.
At one point, with news helicopters hovering overhead, the pursuit passed a rubbish fire that was burning near the highway at West 81st Street and South Grand Opportunity in South Los Angeles.
Numerous police cruisers obstructed traffic from passing the pursuit as they followed Zinkiewitz, who would slow to a near-stop, then speed up once again.
Simply after 9 p.m., he left the Harbor Highway and got onto the northbound 101 Highway near downtown LA. He drove north towards the San Fernando Valley before leaving the freeway, making a U-turn and going southbound on the Hollywood Freeway.
Zinkiewitz then transitioned to the eastbound 10 Highway in East Los Angeles and began traveling gradually, dropping to speeds below 10 miles per hour for long stretches.
Zinkiewitz hit a spike strip at some point in the chase, burning out the two front tires of the Malibu.
Throughout the last 3 hours of the chase, the driver slowed to a stop a number of times on the 10 Freeway in the San Gabriel Valley, permitting officers to briefly leave their cruisers, prior to he continued moving at a slow pace, at one point going through a Caltrans construction zone near Via Verde in Covina.
Officers did not use a PIT maneuver to end the chase due to the fact that department policy forbids making use of the method if a suspect is possibly armed, according to LAPD Sgt. Juan Garcia.
Just after 1 a.m., the rim of the driver-side wheel disintegrated and sparks began flying. Minutes later, the chauffeur stopped the automobile however remained inside.
About 1:15 a.m., he got out of the vehicle and stood in lanes of the freeway while officers yelled orders to him, as he raised and decreased his hands.
Zinkiewitz was collared without event after the LAPD’s crisis negotiation team helped connect him and his brother and “formed a tactical strategy and took the suspect into custody from the standing position without using force,” the LAPD reported.
No weapon was recovered at the scene. Zinkiewitz was booked on 2 robbery warrants and on suspicion of felony evading, according to the LAPD.
In his 20 years with the department, Garcia stated he had actually never heard of pursuit going on for so long and added that many officers had to take out of the pursuit at numerous times to put gas in their lorries using their own money.
As the pursuit moved through the San Gabriel Valley, citizens came out of their homes to take up positions on overpasses and along streets surrounding the highway to watch the pursuit pass by.
In Ontario, California Highway Patrol officers began moving people who had actually stopped on the side of the freeway to catch a glimpse of the pursuit.
Zinkiewitz has remained behind bars considering that his arrest, according to jail records.