Man leads police on Wilmington chase, falls to his death off of crane

Posted at 7:20 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 02:36:53-04

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- A car theft suspect who climbed a gantry crane at the Port of Los Angeles after driving recklessly through the Carson, Long Beach and San Pedro areas today died after falling or jumping from the waterfront structure.

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire Division first chased the white Subaru SUV about 3:10 p.m., but lost sight of it.   

Authorities tracked the suspect as he raced along streets and the Harbor (110) Freeway, driving on the wrong side of roads and scraping the SUV against K-rails along the way before heading into the harbor area.

The suspect, wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey, drove through the terminal area before bailing out of the still-rolling vehicle around 6:15 p.m.

He climbed a gantry crane and perched himself several stories above the piers and channels on the waterfront, where at various times he danced around and lounged on his back before stripping off his clothes.

Law enforcement officers and firefighters positioned themselves below and crews, including divers, waited in boats, ready to attempt a rescue or recovery if the man jumped or fell into the water.

About 8:30 p.m. he fell or jumped and was fatally injured, according to reports from the scene.   

An LAPD officer said he could not immediately confirm that the SUV had been taken from a dealership in San Bernardino.