DIAMOND BAR, Calif. - A pursuit that ultimately turned into an hours-long standoff in Diamond Bar took a heartbreaking turn as a young passenger spotted walking out of a tear-gassed car turned out to be a 9-year-old girl.
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, the driver of a red Nissan sedan led the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on a chase across the Inland Empire. SkyFOX was over Diamond Bar when the chase was in its early stages. The chase suspect then led deputies on a chase across Ontario, Chino Hills, Chino and then back to Diamond Bar.
During the chase, the suspect was spotted hitting, side-swiping and smashing numerous cars before the red Nissan was totaled after crashing into another vehicle on Diamond Bar Boulevard.
After the crash, the suspect -- later identified as a 30-year-old Margaret Hassan -- refused to get out of the car, prompting a standoff between Hassan and law enforcement. During the hours-long standoff, LASD fired rubber bullets, placed a drone over the suspect car, called K9 units and SWAT responded to the scene.
It took the car getting tear-gassed by deputies for Hassan to finally get out of the car. Both Hassan and her daughter were taken to the hospital after they got out of the car. Officials did not specify their injuries.
Below is the moment the little girl exited the tear-gassed car:
LASD Lieutenant Todd Knight said after the standoff that deputies had no idea a 9-year-old girl was aboard the suspect car.
"Nobody knew the child was in the car, and there were multiple efforts to discuss it with the suspect at the time," said Knight.
Knight said the pursuit left innocent people injured as the suspect hit numerous cars.
Witnesses like Ranen Alamawi were also shocked to see a little girl run out of the car following the standoff.
"This was a long pursuit and then it ended with a kid in the car. I know everyone's going to be hurt about that little kid because they tear-gassed the car, they shot the rubber bullets, and that's really scary. The kid must be terrified," said Alamawi.
Brian Avalos, a Chino resident, said his Volkswagen was hit by the suspect during the pursuit.
"I stopped at the red light here and at the moment, I turned around because I heard the sirens up the hill. In a split second, she [suspect] came flying down, hit me and hit another car beside me and then I guess her car totally stopped," said Avalos.
Avalos said he was "speechless."
"I really didn't know what to think about what just happened. My car's rim got broken or something happened to the suspension and I wasn't able to reverse," he said.
Avalos said a deputy escorted him to the nearby Chevron gas station. He said the crash left him injured.
"My neck hurts. My left shoulder hurts and my lower back hurts really bad. She should have been more mature and able to stop when the police officer told her to stop," said Avalos.