LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An Orange County man who allegedly wore a green wig and a Joker mask while leading police on a chase from Westminster to Venice, where he was arrested on the beach, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge and remains jailed today in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Damik A. Disdier, who allegedly displayed a prop chainsaw during the bizarre pursuit, could face up to three years in state prison if convicted of fleeing a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle while driving recklessly, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
The 40-year-old Santa Ana man pleaded not guilty Tuesday and is due back at the Airport Branch courthouse on Aug. 6, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial.
California Highway Patrol officers began chasing a dark sedan about 2:50 p.m. Saturday on the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway in Orange County after noticing that it was being driven recklessly, according to CHP Officer Stephan Brandt.
The driver transitioned onto the Marina del Rey (90) Freeway, then got off at Lincoln Boulevard and drove on Washington Boulevard and Pacific Avenue before stopping at the boardwalk, Brandt said.
News helicopters overhead showed the man, sporting the green wig, standing through the car's sunroof toward the end of the pursuit with a passenger apparently holding the steering wheel while the car moved at a slow speed.
The suspect jumped out of the car and ran down the boardwalk, jumping a wall and walking on the sand as beachgoers looked on. He stopped to help a man who was covering another man with sand and got a ``high five'' for his efforts.
Many in the beach crowd began following the suspect until he got to the water, and they surrounded him while Los Angeles police and CHP officers arrived. People stayed behind the suspect while police officers drew weapons and CHP officers prepared to use a Taser on him, finally moving when ordered by law enforcement. About 3:45 p.m., the suspect removed his shirt and dropped his colorful jacket before kneeling on the sand, then lying prone for arrest.