US News

Suspect in Maryland tow truck hijacking and police chase identified

Mocobizscene: The person who stole a roadside assistance truck from Beltsville, Maryland, and led police on a chase through the suburbs of Washington, D.C. on Friday night has been identified by the police.

The suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Laurel, Maryland resident Flavio Cesar Lanuza, the Maryland State Police said in a statement on Saturday. Lanuza is currently being prosecuted on multiple counts, including first-degree assault and auto theft.

A State Highway Administration tow truck driver helped someone at a park-and-ride off Interstate 95 in Beltsville at around 5:15 p.m. on Friday. But the suspect took advantage of the situation and drove off in the stolen truck. It’s still unclear if the suspect flagged down the tow truck or if it was called to the scene.

At least three cars were involved in the truck’s collision when it entered the Beltway. The truck was quickly found by the Maryland State Police, which led to multiple police cruisers pursuing it.

Aerial footage of the pursuit was recorded by Chopper4, and at one point it showed cops trying to apprehend the stolen truck in an empty parking lot.

Lanuza drove into a grassy area and then went off the road. Unfortunately, some power lines became entangled with the equipment on the truck’s back. The vehicle continued driving despite this setback, but not before crashing into several other automobiles and even into oncoming traffic.

The Maryland State Highway Administration’s roadside assistance truck was stolen during a park-and-ride, setting off a dramatic chain of events that resulted in police pursuing the vehicle.

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