WOODLAND HILLS—A man was charged for stealing a police cruiser and leading officers on a police chase that started in Hollywood and ran through the San Fernando Valley.
Ethan Rutland, 29, of Ventura County is facing one felony count each of fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly and driving or taking a law enforcement or fire department vehicle without consent, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office reported on Tuesday, April 10. Prosecutors are requesting Rutland’s bail be set at $150,000.
According to prosecutors, two Los Angeles Police Department officers were responding to a call of an unrelated suspect running from other officers on Vine Street toward Hollywood Boulevard just past 1 a.m. on Friday, April 6. After joining the pursuit, Rutland allegedly entered the patrol SUV and drove away leading to a police pursuit.
Rutland allegedly drove the police vehicle onto the northbound 101 Freeway and exited in Woodland Hills, where officers stopped the SUV. He was arrested and taken into custody. The defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 8 years in state prison if convicted as charged. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division is investigating the case.