A wild rush hour police chase went through the streets of Burbank on Monday afternoon around 4:40 p.m. before ending after a crash on Buena Visa Street.
LAPD officers received a report of a van driving erratically in the vicinity of he Whiteman Airport in Pacoima. Reportedly, the driver’s employer, American Solar Direct, suspecting that the man was possibly driving a company van under the influence, called police. The slow speed pursuit started and proceeded through Sun Valley. During the pursuit, before coming into Burbank, police deployed a spike strip that flattened the right front tire of the van. The driver did not stop, and the tire eventually separated from the rim on Glenoaks Blvd. near Keystone St. He continued driving on the rim for a some miles on Burbank streets.
The chase led LAPD officers through the streets of Burbank as they headed southbound on Glenoaks. Near the intersection of Glenoaks and Olive the van sideswiped one vehicle, causing some minor damage. The van continued down Glenoaks before going westbound on Alameda. The chase then proceeded down Alameda as it passed in front of the Disney Studios before turning northbound on Buena Vista.
Once on Buena Vista, the van continued past Olive Avenue and Verdugo Avenue. About mid-way between Verdugo and Clark Ave., the van rear-ended a vehicle that was trying to pull over after the driver saw the red lights of the police cars in his rear view mirror. The force of the collision spun the man’s car around 180 degrees and up onto the front lawn of a home. About 100 yards farther north, the van apparently could go no further. After a minute or two delay, the driver exited the vehicle under police orders. He lay face down in the middle of the street as about a dozen LAPD officers trained their weapons on him. Once officers determined that no one else was in the van, the driver was taken into custody without further incident. He was identified as Albert Stokes.
The driver of the vehicle that was struck, Nestoro Layumas of Sherman Oaks, was shaken up a bit after receiving a slight bump to his head, but did not require medical attention. Stokes appeared to be uninjured when he taken into custody. He is facing possible felony evading charges.
A crowd gathered at the end of the pursuit, as it had been televised live on the newscasts by helicopters from channels 7 and 9. A half-dozen news helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft were in the sky high above the area, while the LAPD helicopter circled low over the scene.
Buena Vista was shut down in both directions while the suspect was taken into custody. Southbound lanes reopened about 20 minutes later at 5:15 p.m., and northbound lanes were opened after the investigation at the scene was concluded shortly before 7 p.m.