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Suspect in wild U-Haul chase is named

January 29, 2009 | 12:16 pm

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Authorities released a suspect's name and provided more details about Wednesday's rush-hour U-Haul chase that started in Palmdale, wound through downtown Los Angeles, the Westside and Malibu before ending in Ventura County.

After a televised pursuit that involved officers with the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department and air support, Alisha Nichole Mankin was arrested and charged with being under the influence of a narcotic, possession of a stolen vehicle, felony evading, and three counts of hit-and-run, CHP Officer Matt Winter said.

Mankin had two outstanding warrants, including a DUI. Mankin, a resident of the Antelope Valley community of Littlerock, and a friend left a storage facility in the rented truck at about 3 p.m. and had stopped by a car on the side of the road  when a sheriff's deputy, alerted of a suspicious-looking vehicle, approached the two, Winter said.

"The guy is in possession of narcotics and he’s arrested," Winter said. "As the deputy is putting him into his cruiser, she decides to take off running. She gets into the U-Haul because the keys are in it and takes off."

The chase ended on California 118 near Mesa Union School in Somis, where the vehicle ran out of gas at about 5:15 p.m. She jumped from the truck, failed in her attempt to get into another car, then sprinted down the road, where she was eventually caught by CHP officers.

No injuries were reported, but at least three traffic accidents were caused by Mankin’s erratic driving, Winter said.

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: A close-up of the driver during pursuit. Credit: Hans Laetz. Video: KTLA

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