A Los Angeles, Calif., teacher accused of committing lewd acts on a minor led police on a high-speed car chase Tuesday afternoon.
Police had approached the teacher, who was identified by the school district as Kip Arnold, when he was inside his black pickup truck. Lt. Ty Henshaw of the Bell Police Department told the Los Angeles Times that Arnold claimed to be suicidal before speeding away.
"He said, 'I'm not stopping, I'm suicidal,'" noted Lt. Henshaw.
Police in pursuit were able to stop Arnold briefly when they performed a PIT maneuver (Pursuit Intervention Technique) that abruptly turned his car sideways. Televised footage from CBS2/KCAL9 showed the black truck skidding across several lanes in the road before slamming into the trailer of a big rig truck. However, it wasn't enough to stop Arnold from evading police a second time.
After the PIT maneuver, the teacher sped off again. In video from KTLA (above), Arnold's black truck can be seen swerving off the road at high speeds and flying in air down a grassy embankment. The car crashed into a tree located at the bottom of the hill.
The chase, which began in Lakewood, ended in Rancho Palos Verdes at around 1:30 p.m.
After the crash, the teacher was trapped in his car for about 30 minutes before rescue crews were able to remove him from the cab, reports CBS2/KCAL9. Arnold has been taken to the hospital.
The Los Angeles Unified School District issued a statement about Arnold's career with the school district:
Officials of the Los Angeles Unified School District have been notified by the Bell Police Department of the arrest of Kip Arnold, a physical education teacher at Southeast Middle School on suspicion of lewd behavior with a former student, and possibly additional victims.
He has been with the District eight years. Past assignments include Nimitz Middle School, Gage Middle School and Orchard Academies 2B.
The District is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
The alleged victim is female, and it is not known which school she attended.
LAUSD is currently grappling with another high profile sex abuse case within the district. The mothers of 14 alleged sex abuse victims filed suit against the school district Tuesday, claiming that officials did nothing to protect children from suspected abuser Mark Berndt, a third-grade teacher who was arrested Jan. 2012.
This story is developing...