Pennywise guitarist and generally intimidating human Fletcher Dragge reportedly almost became involved in a widely covered carjacking incident in south Los Angeles when a suspect apparently eyed off his Ford truck but immediately thought better of attempting to alleviate the musician of his vehicle.
As multiple news outlets have noted, suspected carjacker Carlos Mercado was arrested on Wednesday 1 March (US time) after an hours-long low-speed pursuit and eventual stand-off with county police through that ranged across South LA and the South Bay area.
According to those reports, the dramatic incident began about 7.40am local time with the report of a carjacking in the neighbourhood of Florence, with the accused leading police on a reckless chase through the Beach Cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach — from where Pennywise hail — and Redondo Beach, where he was ultimately apprehended about 11.15am.
As per local news outlet Easy Reader News, which specialises in news from the Beach Cities area, Dragge's involvement — or non-involvement — came about when, driving along Redondo Beach's Pacific Coast Highway in his black Ford F250 ute, he noticed the pursuit in his rear-view mirror as the suspect drove up the highway in reverse.
Deciding to get out of the way, Easy Reader News reports that Dragge attempted to make a U-turn across a double line, but said that his truck "is so long I got stuck, blocking the two northbound lanes".
Footage of the allegedy stolen car reversing up the highway and spinning into the opposing lanes, only to find Dragge's reported vehicle — which matches the description given in Easy Reader News — sitting inert in front of him was captured by aerial cameras following the chase.
With Dragge's vehicle sitting across half the highway and the allegedly carjacked vehicle at a halt, battling a flat tyre and repeated bumps from the police, the guitarist said that it appeared as though the suspect "was reaching for the driver-side door handle and I thought for a moment he was coming for my truck".
"But if he was, he changed his mind when we made eye contact," Dragge told Easy Reader News.
The suspect then backed up again and continued southbound along the highway before being bumped again by his pursuers using a "precision immobilisation technique" (PIT) and ultimately being driven into the kerb, where he kept officers at bay for another two hours before being taken into custody.