A man wanted for assault with a deadly weapon led police on a car chase through the San Fernando Valley early this afternoon. When it ended in a hour-long standoff on an Arleta, Calif., street, a passenger could be seen through a tinted window of the suspect’s utility truck — a small, white dog.
The window was rolled all the way up on an 85-degree day, and the dog appeared to running back and forth inside the cab.
When video taken from a helicopter showed the suspect to apparently be bleeding and unconscious, SWAT team members approached the truck and opened the passenger-side door. The dog watched them from the driver’s seat. An officer attempted to open the driver’s-side door, but it was locked.
After a couple of minutes, the dog jumped out of the passenger side of the cab and bolted down the street.
“Here’s the moment poor pup ran out of the truck,” tweeted FOX 11 reporter Gigi Graciette.
Another reporter following the chase, Kristine Lazar of KCBS, tweeted, “Pursuit update: The dog is safe! But he ran off and wouldn’t come to me!”
After a few minutes, KTLA tweeted that the dog returned to the truck and jumped inside the cab, where the driver remained.
The dog then jumped out of the cab again. “Officers still trying to capture dog running near truck following standoff,” KTLA tweeted four minutes later.
The suspect reportedly shot himself in the head and has died. Animal control officers were able to capture his dog, who appeared to be terrified.
“# thanks our animal regulations partners for safely getting dog from pursuit,” the LAPD tweeted. The dog has been reunited with family members, according to news reports.
If you lead police on a car chase, you’re an idiot. If you bring your dog along, you’re an even bigger idiot.
“Some think sympathy should be for suspect, not dog. Not me,” Graciette tweeted. “Sad for his family, YES but he made those choices, including the one where he endangered so many lives by speeding thru our city streets. Dog had no choice. The end.”
Hear, hear. I hope the dog ends up in a home with a responsible pet parent.