A driver experiencing a mental health crisis prompted a police response Thursday night but no crime was committed and therefore, no arrest was made.  

A driver called SMPD at about 8:40 p.m. Thursday night to say he had been threatened by a man with a gun. The caller was vague in their description of the incident but provided his location and a description of his car.

When police officers located the caller and attempted to contact him, the man in the car refused to yield to officers. Instead, the driver parked on Ocean Ave. for about an hour and attempted to pull away whenever an officer approached the vehicle.

The parents of the driver were located and they advised SMPD that their son had recently experienced some mental health issues.  Members of SMPD’s Crisis Negotiations Team were on scene but were unable to get the driver to comply.     

Eventually, the driver began moving and circled the block. His sister arrived and approached the vehicle. After a brief conversation, the driver moved into the passenger seat, the woman entered the car and the two drove to the Marina Del Rey Sheriff’s station without police escort where they had another conversation with officers. 

SMPD said as the driver had called to report being a victim of a crime, he was not a suspect and was therefore not subject to arrest.

The next morning, SMPD was engaged in a chase with a green Prius seen speeding east on Colorado before turning north on 11th Street.

A woman working for a rideshare company called dispatch at about 7:30 a.m. to report her car had been stolen. Officers located the vehicle but the driver refused to stop and sped away. After a brief chase, officers ended the pursuit due to SMPD policy.

SMPD said that due to the danger associated with a high-speed pursuit, officers do not chase vehicles unless the crime is of a high severity. Officials said car chases can endanger the suspect, officers and the broader community.

“Pursuits are among the most dangerous activities that officers can be involved in,” said Lt. Rudy Flores. “So the risks are very high when it comes to balancing the rewards.  

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