A fast car chase is what makes every adventure film exciting and worth the admission. Through the streets, into the woods and flying over the downed bridge keeps the romance film hot. But a police chase through LA and into the surrounding Orange County CA in real life is very serious, and the Los Angeles Criminal Justice Dept. has announced on Thursday that there have been over 630 police pursuits since the beginning of the year!
The Car Chase of the Century
Those who are old enough know what they were doing, and where they were, the day OJ Simpson led the LA police force in a two-hour chase across Orange County into Brentwood. This chase occurred in 1994 and was televised with squad cars and helicopters as the world watched on.
O.J. was charged with murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her boyfriend Ron Goldman in their home. He stood trial for their deaths but was acquitted in 1995. Now, 26 years later, OJ was just released in September from prison on other charges, but he is still being followed by law enforcement for causing trouble in a Las Vegas hotel in October for drunk and disorderly. He has proven several times that you can’t outrun the criminal justice system, but he keeps trying. OJ would certainly go down in the Hall of Fame as the most dramatic and the most widely publicized police pursuit.
Police Chases With the Less Famous in L.A.
CBSLA reported on this rising phenomenon in an article posted on November 9, 2017, analyzing police pursuits. The number this year alone has increased by 122 since last year with two months left in the year. This report is being brought to the public’s attention because it is unsafe for the public streets.
Criminals who are attempting to outrun the long arm of the Law often cause accidents that involve innocent pedestrians and those who have tried to flee have found out that L.A. police always get their suspect.
LAPD announced on Thursday that their officers had been involved in seven pursuits just in that day! Last year, they began the first investigation ever in L.A. on police pursuits because reports showed there was too many of them, and they were too dangerous for the unsuspecting public.
- One pursuit in Burbank on Thursday didn’t cause any harm. A shoplifter led police out of the parking lot on a short run to a Mormon Church where he exited the vehicle and simply collapsed on the lawn. LAPD picked him up and took him to jail.
- But, another pursuit that same day was extremely dangerous. A man suspected of rape tried escaping with two children in the car. He started in Huntington Beach and went to Norwalk where he crashed at the 605/105 interchange. He ran out of his car and jumped off the overpass to escape, but he was injured, so LAPD arrested him and sent him to the hospital. His children were medically evaluated. This pursuit could’ve even been much worse.
- The same day, LAPD reported a chase that went terribly wrong for the woman who stole a U-Haul truck in South L.A. She drove to the L.A. Wholesale Produce Market and drove in barely missing several workers, but she hit two squad cars. One officer fired a shot at her, missing, but she fought with the officers as she was apprehended and arrested. They had to put a mask over her face so she wouldn’t spit on anyone. Luckily, no one was hurt.
Police agencies across the country have been re-evaluating their procedures in such chases. L.A. has now joined in with this recent report, and LAPD is changing the way they handle these situations. They now use a method called “tracking mode,” where the police vehicles are able to disengage from the suspect and let helicopters take over. This eliminates the lights and sirens and provides a more efficient and less dangerous pursuit for everyone involved.
Everyone around the world watched as the white Bronco, followed by the bee-hive of police cars and helicopters, raced along the interstate Rt. 45 in the pursuit of OJ’s vehicle. He finally pulled up to his home in Brentwood at 7:30 that night, and the police re-arrested him. The one element of OJs run was that he stayed on the interstate and had a certain destination he was headed for, which doesn’t make it right, just more safe.
Accidents sometimes result with injuries, like they did in this accident in Sherman Oaks.