20-year-old ex-marine trained to drive in military led police on 90-minute Hollywood chase

The driver of a Ford Mustang convertible who led police on an hour and a half car chase through the rain-slicked roads of Hollywood, was trained to drive in the U.S military, it has been revealed.

Driver Herschel Reynolds, 20, was a driver for the U.S. Marine Corps before being ‘prematurely discharged’ in January, the Pentagon told The Los Angeles Times .

A Facebook photo of Reynolds shows him in his uniform with a female next to him, thought to be his girlfriend.

On Thursday, Reynolds and passenger Isaiah Young, 19 led a chase that included donuts for the TV cameras in Hollywood and thousands of people live-tweeting the pursuit which ended with high-fives and selfies.

But his skillful driving may have been thanks to the expert training he received while in the military.

Reynolds was a motor vehicle operator for the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton.

‘Herschel Reynolds’ premature discharge and rank are indicative of the fact that the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards,’ the Pentagon said in a statement obtained by the Times.

And Military records show he served with the Marines as a private for almost two years.

Speaking on Thursday, Dennis Zine, a former L.A. City Councilman and 47-year veteran of the LAPD and its reserve unit, told the LA Times: ‘In all my years of seeing chases that is one of top 10 most bizarre pursuits in L.A.

‘The high-fives at the end were ridiculous. It was 10 minutes before the sheriffs pulled up to make the arrests.’

A Facebook photo of Reynolds shows him in his uniform with a female next to him, thought to be his girlfriend

Reynolds (pictured right) was a motor vehicle operator for the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton, says the U.S. military

The chase ended around 3.30pm when the Young and Reynolds parked up outside a property on 51st and Central Avenue where they were met like returning folk heroes by a crowd.

Hugging them and posing for selfies, it emerged afterwards that both the men actually live in the neighborhood and were coming home before their inevitable arrest.

‘Why they come on this street?’ said Darriel Harris, a neighbor to NBC Los Angeles. ‘They stay on this street. Come home to his momma. Both of them did.’

And despite the apparent party atmosphere, friends and neighbors said they were concerned about the men’s safety, despite police backing off claiming they could see the suspects and wanted a safe arrest.

‘I asked them when police got here, do not resist,’ said Narvie Lee Richmond, another neighbor. ‘Do not cause any problems. Allow them to arrest them. Take them to the station. Let the legal system work out … didn’t want to see young black men getting killed.’

Young is being held on $80,000 bail and driver Reynolds on $50,000 bail – with no court date set for their arraignment.

Putting on a show: The two men tore up the street with their donuts while dring their Ford Mustang through the streets of Los Angeles 

Weaving: The joyriders snake in and out of the traffic in an unusually rain-soaked Los Angeles - gaining them unexpected notoriety for their brazen and shameless showboating 

Suspects: Isaiah Young, 19, the passenger, and Herschel Reynolds, 20, (front) the driver pose for one of the many pictures their neighbors took after their joyride

Model Chrissy Teigen was one of the many social media users live-tweeting the action and providing commentary of both the men in the Mustang and the police officers pursuing them.

Miss Teigen posted an image of the Mustang to her Instagram page as the city was gripped by the chase, with #GoTem and #Mare in the caption.

Glued to the TV coverage, the model also posted a video of herself watching the action unfold.

‘These guys do not give one f***,’ she said in the clip. ‘The police are coming!’

At one point the two men crashed into a TMZ tour bus – and incredibly Young stood and threw a cheeseburger at it when it blocked the Mustang’s path on the highway.

But the police didn’t get a good reception from Twitter users, who ridiculed them for not being on the scene for around 10 minutes after the Mustang pulled up in a south L.A. neighborhood – but police confirmed they had hung back for fear of road users’ safety.

One clip of an unsuccessful attempt to stop the chase using a ‘spike strip’ was shared widely on Twitter – after the officer attempting to throw the spikes under the car’s wheels bungled the throw and the Mustang easily got away.

The chase began after police were called to Cerritos, a neighborhood in southern LA, following reports of a residential burglary at around 2pm.

Concerned neighbors reported the robbery and gave officers a description of the men and their blue Ford Mustang, which was then picked up by cops who began pursuing the pair in a chase captured by KTLA and ABC7.

However, officers seemed to be largely bamboozled by the men’s driving and rarely caught up to them, leaving the pair free to showboat for the cameras that saw them pick up legions of fans online.

Crowds cheered as they blared down Hollywood Boulevard, while one journalist captured the moment the passenger threw a peace sign, an image instantly shared hundreds of times on Twitter.

The thoroughly modern pursuit only finished when the men pulled over in south LA in order to take selfies and exchange hugs with a group of fans who came out on to the street   

The men even found time to pull donuts in the middle of the rainy streets, pumping their fists an dancing around in the cab of the Mustang, clearly enjoying their five minutes of fame.

At one point while traveling down Highway 101 the Mustang crashed into a TMZ tour bus, leaving a huge dent in its front left wheel arch.

Passenger, Isaiah Young, who seemed in high spirits throughout the rest of the chase, seemed to become irritated at this, throwing something at the truck – there were reports on Twitter it was just a burger.

Although many branded the bus driver’s near-collision with the Mustang as a vigilante attempt to put an end to the chase, the driver confirmed to TMZ that he ‘never even saw the chase coming’ and was ‘innocently changing lanes and ended up cutting off the suspects’.

Once the men had got around that obstacle they continued evading police while continuing to pull stunts for the camera, causing one of their tires to shred itself.

Eventually, with cops nowhere in sight, the men pulled up to the curb in a south LA neighborhood where a legion of fans were waiting for them.

The pair hugged, exchanged high-fives, and took selfies with the audience all while waiting for deputies to catch up to them.

Onlookers drew comparisons between Thursday's chase and the infamous 1994 low-speed police pursuit of OJ Simpson (pictured), after he was asked to turn himself in in connection with the murder of his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman

When the police finally did arrive around ten minutes later, both men appeared to surrender without a fight, one placing his hands behind his back and walking backwards towards officers.

‘It was a nonviolent property crime…. In terms of priority, you need to weigh all the circumstances,’ said LAPD Cpt. Andy Neiman to the LA Times.

‘The two suspects didn’t appear to be trying to hide anywhere, almost sitting and waiting. You could see them take property out of their pockets and hand it to people like they knew they were going to be arrested. It was sort of surreal to watch.’

According to TMZ, officers had planned to stop the chase at an earlier stage with a PIT maneuver, but backed off because neither of the men were strapped in and cops feared they would be thrown from the vehicle.

Police were reportedly ordered to go into ‘tracking mode’, which means to hang back and let the helicopters follow the car.

TMZ reported that the whole chase was eventually called off, which was apparently why there were no police cars on the scene when the pursuit drivers eventually stopped.

Onlookers drew comparisons between Thursday’s chase and the infamous 1994 low-speed police pursuit of OJ Simpson, after he was asked to turn himself in in connection with the murder of his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman.

When Simpson failed to show, however, he was reported missing and tracked to Orange County – and the chase began.

He led police on a chase through the streets of L.A. which was broadcast live on TV around the world. The chase eventually ended at Simpson’s Brentwood estate.

Source: The DailyMail

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