A driver repeatedly evaded police as he drove on and around the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday, police said. He traveled on and off of sidewalks and on two casino properties despite multiple efforts by Metro police to pull his car over.
Eventually, his car caught fire, and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers extricated him from the vehicle.
He was later identified as Wilson Reyes-Gonzales, according to KVVU, a local TV station.
The incident began as he was seen tailgating a taxi near Linq Lane and Winnick Avenue, the report said.
Police yelled at him to stop following the cab. When a Metro officer tried to block his car, Reyes-Gonzales drove onto the sidewalk close to pedestrians, police said.
Soon, he drove back onto the street and started to tailgate a Dodge Charger, police said. Then, he drove into the Linq’s parking garage. His car struck and demolished security barrier arms at the garage’s entrance and exit, police said.
He exited the garage and then returned to driving on Las Vegas Boulevard. He then traveled to the valet area at Bally’s Las Vegas now becoming the Horseshoe Las Vegas.
At this point, he drove over a curb and almost struck a pedestrian who was walking on a sidewalk pushing a stroller, police said.
He also came close to striking a police officer on Flamingo Road, police added.
Kept Pressing Gas Pedal
Metro officers realized they had to stop the vehicle out of safety concerns, so they employed a precision immobilization technique (PIT) on the vehicle. It is a method for police to turn their vehicles sideways quickly. It often leads the pursued driver to lose control over his or her car and come to a stop, according to an online explanation.
But that effort led the suspect to repeatedly press the gas pedal on the car. His tires began to spin and that led to the appearance of a large cloud of smoke.
It appeared Reyes-Gonzales was “attempting to ram his way through officers” as the smoke blocked the vision of the officers, the report said.
Taken to Hospital
For about a half hour, police yelled out to Reyes-Gonzales to surrender. But he ignored the commands and eventually his car caught fire. That led officers to force their way into the car and rescue Reyes-Gonzales. He was taken to the nearby Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
He refused to speak to Metro officers and later was booked at Clark County Detention Center. As of Friday, he was no longer listed in custody at the jail, according to online records.
Police did not have updated information on the suspect’s condition as of Friday.
The car driven by Reyes-Gonzales was described as a Scion, police said.
One of the police cars involved in the chase was damaged during the pursuit, police added.
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