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Police Chase Down Erratic Driver On Van Nuys Airport Runway

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A suspect who led police on a chase Friday on the runway of Van Nuys Airport was arrested and will undergo a mental health evaluation, officials said.

The suspect, who was not identified, was taken into custody at about 9 a.m. after barreling through a fence at Woodley and Saticoy. LA Airport Police says he cooperated with officers, but also rambled about being followed by the government and the Mexican cartel.

He complained of having trouble breathing and was taken to a hospital in an ambulance. Police say he will undergo a mental health evaluation and be tested for drugs. But when he is medically cleared, he faces charges of felony evading.

The pursuit began after LA Airport Police were notified a car had gotten into the airport and was driving recklessly. The LAPD sent several patrol units and an airship to help chase the man down, who managed to get past three PIT maneuver attempts.

Video from SKY2 showed the car driving past planes taxiing down the runway and the driver defiantly raising his hands through the windows and the sunroof.

"I don't know whether he was trying to steer with his knees, or whether he wasn't steering at all," LA Airport police Sgt. Charles Pierce said.

It's not clear how the suspect got into the airport, and LA Airport Police will investigate the breach of security.

Van Nuys Airport is home to several private companies that cater to corporate and celebrity clients. Police say the car was not stolen and belongs to the suspect's girlfriend.

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