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P.E. teacher arrested after chase ends in dramatic crash

July 10, 2012 |  3:43 pm

The teacher who led police on a high-speed chase before plowing through a guard rail and over a steep hill is a physical education teacher at Southeast Middle School in South Gate.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials confirmed that teacher Kip Arnold has been arrested on suspicion of lewd behavior with a former student. School officials said there may be additional victims.

Arnold has been employed by the district for eight years and has also worked at Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School and Orchard Academies 2B.

Detectives had been watching his home in Lakewood for about a day as part of an ongoing investigation, said Lt. Ty Henshaw of the Bell Police Department. The chase began after detectives approached Arnold's pickup truck about 12:30 p.m. in Lakewood.

"He said, 'I'm not stopping, I'm suicidal,' put the car in gear and drove off," Henshaw said.

California Highway Patrol and the sheriff's deputies in Lakewood were called in to help follow Arnold, who led authorities on the 405 and 10 freeways and along Pacific Coast Highway through Torrance before his vehicle left the road and plunged down an embankment in Rancho Palos Verdes.

He crashed through a guard rail, went airborne and hit a tree about 1:30 p.m.

Arnold was extricated from the vehicle and taken to a local hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

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-- Kate Mather and Richard Winton

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