LOS ANGELES - Authorities on Sunday released the identity of a Santa Ana man in a clown mask who allegedly brandished a prop chainsaw and hung out the sunroof of a car while leading the California Highway Patrol on a pursuit from Westminster to Venice Beach the day before.
Damik A. Disdier was booked on suspicion of felony evading police, according to the CHP. The CHP described him as 40 years old, while L.A. County booking records listed his age as 36.
The peculiar pursuit began shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, after witnesses began calling the CHP to report seeing a black BMW sedan driving at 2 to 3 mph in the fast lane of the northbound 405 Freeway, near the 22 Freeway, in Westminster, the CHP said in a written statement.
"(Disdier) was reportedly sitting on top of the vehicle holding a chain saw," according to the statement. Video footage showed the man was wearing a clown mask and green wig.
Officers quickly caught up with the BMW and tried to pull it over, but the driver fled, officials said. The driver led officers on a chase at speeds of more than 70 mph before transitioning to the 90 Freeway, then headed toward Venice Beach on surface streets.
"During this time, the driver climbed onto the roof of the BMW and began gesturing at CHP units before sitting back inside the vehicle," the CHP statement said.
The car came to a stop at the Ocean Front Walk, where the driver got out and ran onto the beach, authorities said. He was captured nearby as a crowd gathered around.
"A search of the BMW revealed the chainsaw was a toy prop," the statement said.
A woman who had been riding as a passenger in the BMW was questioned and released, officials added.
A reason for the bizarre behavior and pursuit was unclear.
Disdier's bail was set at $75,000 pending his initial court appearance, booking records showed.