End of year recap: Wildest police chases of 2022

Police chases are a frequent occurrence in Southern California and we're rounding up the wildest, most bizarre, and most dramatic pursuit endings of 2022 in our end-of-the-year recap.

No. 1: June 20 

Making the top of the recap list is a motorcycle pursuit with a twist. A motorcyclist wanted for speeding led authorities on a wild pursuit through Los Angeles and Orange counties on June 20, 2022. Video from SkyFOX showed the driver speeding down the 110 Freeway, weaving in and out of traffic. At one point during the pursuit, the motorcyclist went off-road and drove over a hiking trail in Echo Park. After going off-road, he went back on surface streets on Stadium Way and back onto Sunset Blvd. But, it wasn't long before the suspect went back into the hiking trail area and continued driving. He eventually drove back onto surface streets and into a Silver Lake neighborhood where he was taken into custody after making a stop at an apartment building. 

No. 2: March 11

Coming in second: A pursuit from March 11, 2022, where the suspect attempted to evade Los Angeles Police officers by laying next to a vehicle. "Come on guys! He's right there," FOX 11's Stu Mundel could be heard saying in a now-viral video recap of the pursuit. The chase began shortly after 8 a.m. with police responding to a stolen vehicle call. The chase didn't last very long. The driver was traveling at high speeds on the freeway before getting onto surface roads. The driver made contact with at least two other vehicles before rear-ending one and damaging his front bumper. Just a few minutes later, the suspect collided with another vehicle and fled from the vehicle. 

In an effort to evade police, the suspect laid down and hid behind a parked car in the alley. Officers were seen driving through the alley and hopping out of their cruisers to follow the suspect. Initially, they ran right by them, further into the alley. Officers kept looking forhim and quickly realized they'd missed the suspect who was still hiding. He was late put into handcuffs and arrested.  

No. 3: March 9

In our third spot is a bizarre animal pursuit. A cow was on the moo-ve on the 210 Freeway on March 9, 2022. SkyFOX was live over the scene as Animal Control and California Highway Patrol officers worked to corral the animal to safety. After a trot on the freeway, at least five vehicles helped maneuver the animal down an off-ramp, then eventually under a bridge and into a nearby parking lot. One official was seen with what looked like a lasso or some sort of rope as authorities tried to apprehend the animal.

RELATED: Steer wanders onto 210 Freeway in Lake View Terrace

After several minutes cornered in the parking lot, the steer was able to escape, climbing up a set of stairs and back onto the road. Eventually, crews were able to capture the steer and get the animal back into its pen.

No. 4: February 22

The fourth most-memorable pursuit of 2022 happened on February 22, when a suspect allegedly stole a party bus and led California Highway Patrol officers on a chase from Mar Vista through Brentwood before getting onto the 405 Freeway heading into the San Fernando Valley. 

RELATED: Police chase stolen party bus across Southern California

The driver then transferred to the 5 Freeway toward the Newhall Pass, then headed into the Antelope Valley. The pursuit ended in Palmdale on the Sierra Highway after the bus rear-ended a silver four-door car on Sierra Highway. The female driver was taken into custody.  

No. 5: October 4

In the fifth spot is a pursuit that came to a dramatic end on the 91 Freeway in Long Beach. On October 4, 2022, four burglary suspects in a BMW led authorities on a high-speed chase through the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles County. Video from SkyFOX showed the vehicle driving at speeds up to 90 mph, dodging traffic and weaving in and out of lanes on the 210 Freeway and bumping into other cars. The suspect vehicle got into at least three minor collisions during the chase. The suspect drove through the 605, 10, 710, 5 and 91 freeways. During the chase, the back bumper and the right front tire came off the vehicle. The pursuit came to an end on the westbound 91 Freeway after the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a semi-truck. Two people inside the vehicle got out and ran across the freeway to avoid police. After a short foot pursuit, the suspects were taken into custody. 

No. 6: November 9

A crazy pursuit crash on November 9, 2022, where a suspect plowed into a Cerritos intersection comes in at number six. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries. The suspect in a reportedly stolen vehicle led authorities on a chase beginning in the Lakewood area and making its way through Artesia, Cerritos, Downey, Paramount and Lynwood. The pursuit ended after the suspect plowed into the intersection of Norwalk and Del Amo boulevards and crashed into at least two other vehicles.

No. 7: October 20

This pursuit and standoff comes in at seven. Traffic around LAX is already crazy, now try adding a pursuit and standoff into the mix. On Oct. 20, 2022, a suspect led authorities on a high-speed chase starting in San Diego County and ending right at the entrance of LAX. The suspect was seen driving on the 5 and 105 Freeways. He eventually got off the freeway in Westchester, near LAX, and was weaving in and out of traffic. Eventually, the vehicle became disabled and the suspect attempted to flee and ran towards the ledge of a bridge. The suspect appeared to sit on the edge of the bridge, looking down and up… any means of escaping. Refusing to surrender, officers engaged in an hour-long standoff. Officers attempted to get him down from the ledge as hostage negotiators were called to the scene. He eventually surrendered and was taken into custody. 

No. 8: November 3

The driver of a reportedly stolen big rig out of Kern County led California Highway Patrol on a slow-speed pursuit on November 3, 2022, down the 5 Freeway near the Newhall area.

RELATED: Big rig explodes into flames during police chase on 5 Freeway in LA County

Authorities made several attempts to deploy spike strips on the freeway. The big rig eventually hit one in a set of three laid out on the roadway, leading to one of the tires coming off the front right passenger side. The driver was able to continue driving for a short time before the front left driver's side of the big rig began to catch fire. The driver pulled over and complied with officers' commands to get out of the truck and was taken into custody. Eventually, the big rig exploded and became fully engulfed in flames.

No. 9: November 9

It was like a scene from Grand Theft Auto… a wild pursuit, crash and vehicle theft all caught on live TV. On Nov. 9, 2022, a suspect led authorities on a pursuit through parts of Orange and Los Angeles counties. The suspect, in a stolen white refrigerator van, was seen driving on the wrong side of the road, speeding through traffic and ramming into a police car. At one point during the chase, the suspect sideswiped a parked car, causing the vehicle he was in to become disabled. With smoke and sparks flying from the car, the driver managed to escape and fled to a nearby house in Whittier. That's when things got wild. The suspect broke into the house, confronted the homeowner and his family, got into a knife fight, then on live TV the suspect managed to steal the homeowner's brand new work truck and drive away. About an hour later or so, the suspect was cornered by officers at a gas station and taken into custody. 

RELATED: Community helps Whittier man get new work truck after old one got stolen on live TV mid-police chase