Sunday, February 03, 2013

Police arrest balloon-inhaling suspect following chase

A man wanted on suspicion of drunken driving led police in California on a slow-speed pursuit, pulled over and started inhaling from balloons in a bizarre standoff that ended with officers smashing his window and pulling him from the vehicle. The suspect was identified by his father, who was at the scene, as 24-year-old Jorge Leonardo Sanchez.

The man's father said that Sanchez had problems in the past with nitrous oxide, an inhalant typically known as laughing gas that when huffed creates a feeling of euphoria. According to Los Angeles Superior Court records, Sanchez was found guilty of possession of nitrous oxide in 2009.

The slow-speed chase started at about 10:45am on Friday and lasted approximately 10 minutes before Sanchez pulled over in Panorama City. The man pulled the car forward and then reversed it multiple times. An officer snuck in front of the vehicle and put down a spike strip, which the driver ran over, entangling it under the sedan.

YouTube link.

Aerial video showed the man inhaling from balloons and then refilling them with some sort of tank inside the car. At 11:12am, six police officers with guns drawn approached the vehicle. After talking to Sanchez through the passenger-side window, one of the officers fired a low-impact BB round into the car, striking him. Police then swarmed the vehicle. One officer smashed in the driver-side window, opened the door and pulled the man to the ground. He was handcuffed and taken into custody.


Gareth said...

"Sanchez was found guilty of possession of nitrous oxide in 2009."

Firearms are OK, but nitrous oxide is illegal? How screwed up is that?

Anonymous said...

To be fair, nitrous oxide will impair driving.

Gareth said...

What difference does that make? The story says he had been arrested for possession of NO2, from which we can infer that the possession of NO2 is illegal. If possession of products likely to impair driving was a crime then possession of alcohol would be illegal too.

I have used NO2 for years in performance tuning motorcycles from a 50cc moped all the way up to machines that are far too fast even before we fit nitrous. If possession of NO2 were illegal over here we'd be in serious trouble.