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CNN BREAKING NEWS

High-Speed Chase Turns Into Standoff

Aired July 5, 2002 - 12:01   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A high-speed chase turns into a standoff on a highway south of San Francisco. It started more than an hour ago and what you're looking at right now are emergency teams responding to a disabled car not far away, which is surrounded by Highway Patrol officers. Officials say a driver and one passenger are in the car. Part of Highway 101 is closed.

Now, of course, as I mentioned I want to bring in Miles O'Brien who's sticking around. You've been covering this breaking story for us all morning.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

WHITFIELD: What an unusual and very potentially frightening situation out there.

O'BRIEN: Yes, there's a bit of, there's some ominous things to consider in this one, chief among them in my mind is the fact that the driver apparently has doused himself with gasoline.

As we look at live pictures, this is the 101 north-south artery. You could not find one of any greater significance in the San Francisco Bay area that is now close in the southbound lanes. Northbound lanes, as you see, in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, on the shot provided to us from KTVU, moving just fine. But southbound, blocked off by the California Highway Patrol and county officials.

Fire officials now on the scene as mentioned to you, the threat of gasoline perhaps being in the car has caused them to be on the scene in case something bad does happen.

It began more than four hours ago on what appeared to be a routine stop for a California Highway Patrolman as he pulled up behind what he thought was a disabled vehicle with Tennessee license plates, a maroon vehicle. It quickly sped off. The officer gave chase and what a chase it was in the wee hours of the Bay Area, beginning at 4:40 a.m. Fortunately, not a lot of people on the roads at that time because speeds went in excess of 100 miles an hour when it crossed the Bay Bridge, down the 101.

Finally, they were able to take out the tires with a puncturing device on the 101. The car kept going for a while, eventually down to the rims of the tires, finally became disabled. Two people in the vehicle not sure what the relationship is between the driver and the passenger. California Highway Patrol is not indicating, as you look at them there, live pictures now, obviously heavily armed with semiautomatic weapons and other weaponry against possible scenarios here.

In any case, they have not seen a gun inside the vehicle and do not know why this standoff is occurring, as we finally pan around and see the vehicle there, the maroon vehicle. If you look to the mid left portion of your screen, just went out of frame, there was a box there with a cable attached. It's a telephone, which heavily armored SWAT team members placed there probably about a half an hour ago.

A series of announcements were made over public address systems, over loud speakers, indicating that the phone was there. So far, the driver has not availed himself of any communication, as we look at the close-up of the vehicle. Fredricka, we're watching it.

WHITFIELD: We're watching closely. Thank you very much, Miles O'Brien, for that update.

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