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Police ram car in failed bid to end Westwood standoff [Updated]

August 13, 2009 |  3:45 pm

Los Angeles police rammed an assault vehicle into a man's car in an unsuccessful bid to end a five-hour standoff in Westwood with the suspect, who allegedly made threats against the White House.

A robot equipped with a camera was placed next to the Volkswagen Beetle so officers could get a look at what was going on inside. [Updated at 5:38 p.m.: Tear gas was just thrown into the car.]

Police evacuated apartment buildings near the Federal Building's parking lot, as well as some federal offices. Veteran Avenue and surrounding streets have been closed.

The incident began with a pursuit through parts of the Westside and ended at the Federal Building, where the Los Angeles Police Department and UCLA police officers blocked the vehicle.

Law enforcement sources said that SWAT officers are now on the scene and are trying to determine how to proceed. One source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing, said the suspect might have mental problems but is alive and unarmed inside the car.

[Updated at 4:45 p.m.: The Daily Breeze is reporting that the suspect is a 56-year-old man from Westchester. His mother told the paper that he suffers from depression.]

-- Andrew Blankstein