LAPD Captain Says He Had To Decide To Chase Sparking Vehicle Into Topanga and Malibu

Written by on September 14, 2020

Los Angeles police say they had no choice but to chase a truck and trailer into Malibu last week … even though the trailer was causing fires along Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

A seven acre brush fire was caused by the trailer being chased into the brushy canyon … at least six fires in fact were triggered by the trailer.

Passersby stopped and used bottles of water or their shoes to put out most of the fires.

LAPD captain Todd Hinkel was in charge.


“A patrol unit actually one of the patrol units stopped while they were in the pursuit and actually put out a fire too.

“This person … we didn’t start this pursuit meaning that we didn’t try to stop this person for a traffic violation or any other …

“We got calls from the public that this person was on Ventura Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles near Topanga Canyon and they were using that truck as a weapon to crash into other people.”

The LAPD captain says the Chase began went 47-year-old Wade link of Los Angeles began driving the large truck into other vehicles … and the 911 lines lit up with people reporting the assaults.

Hinkel says he was aware of the fire dangers … but had to make a decision.


“I believe his actions only stopped when the vehicle became disabled.

“I think he would’ve continued on as long as he was possible … as that vehicle would run.

“It’s not the ideal situation but I think that in regard to human life we had to warn the public that this person was in the area.”

The LAPD captain says Pacific Coast Highway was reopened as soon as possible.

A gigantic traffic jam developed on Malibu’s only main road … Plus on the canyon roads as people try to get back-and-forth while LAPD officers investigating the scene and brought in a tow truck.

The suspect … Wade Link … was jailed for Felony DUI with Injury … and may face assault with a deadly weapon charges.

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