Video: Pursuit Suspect Stays in Car to Huff Nitrous Oxide From Balloons After Cops Deploy Spike Strip
A suspect being pursued by the Los Angeles Police Department opted to remain seated in his vehicle after the car was disabled with a "spike strip," and inhale an unidentified intoxicant via inflated balloons.
The brief pursuit of the man came to an end just before 11 a.m. in Panorama City, when officers deployed a spike strip which successfully popped at least one of the vehicle's tires. But instead of following commands and exiting, the driver began to blow up red balloons using a tank of some kind of gas, possibly helium or nitrous oxide, and inhaled the contents one after another.
The LAPD held back in order to secure the scene, since the gas could be potentially explosive and the driver's well-being uncertain considering how much he had been inhaling, according to a live report on ABC7.
Ultimately, about a dozen officers lined up on the sidewalk by the car, approached the subject through the passenger window, then fired a non-lethal bean bag shot into the car. The officers surrounded the car, smashed open the driver's window, and pulled the driver out of his seat, making sure he could not reach for any possible items in his waistband or pockets. He was quickly taken into custody, and officers initiated an investigation of the vehicle.
View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.
UPDATE: The suspect has been identified as 24-year-old Jorge Leonardo Sanchez, according to NBC Los Angeles. Sanchez' father, who was at the scene of the arrest, says his son has suffered problems with addiction to nitrous oxide. Court records show Sanchez "was found guilty of possession of nitrous oxide in 2009," and "was also convicted of domestic battery in November 2011, trespassing in June 2011, and disturbing the peace in June 2008."
Editor's note: This post and headline have been edited to include updated information.