Hit-and-Run Suspect Sparks Brush Fire During Chase From Topanga To Malibu

TOPANGA (CNS) - A hit-and-run suspect driving a truck towing a double-axle trailer led officers on a chase today from Topanga to Malibu, during which sparks from the rig sparked a brush fire that grew to 10 acres before crews got the upper hand.

The Los Angeles Police Department started pursuing the truck – a handwritten sign in the bed read “I got this'' -- at 1:54 p.m. near Victory Boulevard and De Soto Avenue, after the driver crashed into a couple of parked vehicles and kept going, Officer Mike Chan said.

According to multiple broadcast reports, sparks from the rig triggered the brush fire in Topanga near North Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Entrado Drive, forcing the closure of Topanga Canyon Boulevard between PCH and Old Topanga Canyon Road.

About 2:20 p.m., the unidentified suspect stopped on Pacific Coast Highway, near Carbon Canyon Road, in Malibu and remained in the driver's seat for over 40 minutes, at one point taking his shirt off and repeatedly making threatening gestures at officers behind him.

About 3:10 p.m., seven officers walked up to the truck, opened the door and forcibly removed him from the vehicle as news helicopters circled overhead.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department reported shortly after the man was taken into custody that crews had stopped the spread of the brush fire.

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