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Woman clings to side of van during police pursuit

April 23, 2012 |  2:04 pm

A woman clung to the side of a minivan during a police pursuit Monday in an incident that ended with a bank robbery suspect being pulled out of the vehicle by a police dog in Whittier, officials said.

It started just after 10 a.m. Monday at the First Financial Credit Union in the 2500 block of E. Workman Avenue in West Covina. According to police, an armed parolee entered the credit union and passed a note to the teller demanding money.

The man then fled in a white minivan. West Covina police caught up with him on Puente Avenue and the westbound 10 Freeway. He transitioned to the southbound 605 Freeway and then exited onto surface streets at Whittier Boulevard.

At one point, a woman in a red jacket who appeared to be talking on a cellphone approached the van. The van slowed down, and the woman jumped on the vehicle, hanging onto the left sliding door. She clung to the side of the vehicle as police tried a pit maneuver on the van.

After a brief struggle, she managed to climb inside the van through an open window. As the chase continued, the man threw a gun out the window, West Covina police said. The van eventually came to a stop at Whittier Boulevard and Mar Vista.

The woman got out with her hands up and was taken into custody without incident. The man stayed inside the van until a police dog named "Rambo" was sent in after him.

The suspect jumped out of the van and the dog, a seven-year veteran, dragged him to the ground as cash spilled from the driver's seat. The man was handcuffed and taken into custody.

The woman is believed to be the man's girlfriend. Their identities have not been released.


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