A man stole a tow truck in San Diego and reportedly told cops he couldn’t stop the vehicle or it would explode — a wild scene eerily reminiscent to the 1994 Hollywood blockbuster “Speed.”
A slow-moving police chase started at about 7:45 p.m. Monday when a suspect jumped into a tow truck in the city’s Pacific Beach section and drove off, police told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The man — who was on the phone with police dispatchers during the ensuing pursuit — told one he couldn’t stop the tow truck or it would explode, according to police radio traffic cited by the newspaper.
In the 1994 smash hit “Speed,” actor Keanu Reeves played a cop chasing a bomb-maker who rigged a public bus to explode if it dropped below 50 mph after reaching that threshold during its route.
But Monday’s real-life drama featured no actual bombs and the driver never got the stolen tow truck above 10 mph, San Diego Police Officer John Buttle told the newspaper.
Cops used spike strips at one point during the hour-plus, 10-mile chase on city streets and Interstate 5 that ended in downtown San Diego, although it’s unclear if that stopped the pursuit, the newspaper reported.
The driver, who was not immediately identified, did not comply with cops who demanded he surrender, prompting them to use pepper balls to force him out of the truck, Buttle said.
Video obtained by KNSD showed a man inside an Andy’s Roadside Service truck as it was pelted with pepper balls. The suspect, who appeared to be middle-aged, then exited the truck and surrendered with his hands raised, the footage shows.
The man was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for evaluation, KNSD reported. No injuries were reported, according to KSWB.
A message seeking comment from San Diego police was not immediately returned early Tuesday.