An hourslong standoff between a woman on a driving rampage and the police who chased her down ended with the shocking realization that she had a 9-year-old girl as a passenger.
The startling incident unfolded in Los Angeles at about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday when the woman in a red Nissan Sentra allegedly rammed into a bystander repeatedly.
Los Angeles police officers said they began chasing the driver after the bystander reported the alleged assault.
The woman rammed into several other cars as she tried to escape the police chase. Police twice attempted a PIT maneuver to force the woman to end the chase, but were unsuccessful both times.
Eventually, the driver rear-ended another car and her vehicle was disabled from driving further.
Police say the woman then barricaded herself in the car and refused to come out. This started an hourslong standoff.
The standoff ended after police sent a drone that fired several tear gas canisters into the car.
While a sheriff’s crisis team were able to negotiate with the woman to get her out of the car, police were stunned to see a 9-year-old girl jump out from the backseat and run to hug a SWAT officer.
“After introducing a gas agent, and to the surprise of all personnel, an unknown female child exited the rear of the vehicle and was brought to safety in the arms of [a Special Enforcement Bureau] deputy,” a police statement said.
The woman was promptly arrested at the scene.
“Nobody knew the child was in the car,” Lt. Todd Knight of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said later.
Police later identified the suspect as Margaret Hassan, 30, of Pomona. The girl was determined to be her daughter. She was evaluated at a local hospital for injuries and then placed into custody of Children and Family Services.
Hassan is facing multiple charges including child endangerment, felony evading, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Here’s a local news report about the shocking incident:
Woman arrested after hourslong standoff with deputies in Diamond Bar with 9-year-old in car