LOS ANGELES, CA --The driver who led police on a wild chase through Los Angeles on Thursday was a trained vehicle operator for the U.S Marine Corps, the Pentagon confirmed.
According to military personnel information from the Marine Corps, 20-year-old Herschel Reynolds served in the Marines from April 22, 2014 to Jan. 13, 2016. He was ranked as a private, and although he was never deployed, he was decorated with the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, records show.
Reynolds was trained at Camp Pendleton as a Marine Corps motor vehicle operator.
"Herschel Reynolds' premature discharge and rank are indicative of the fact that the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps' expectations and standards," the Pentagon said.
Reynolds drove a rented Mustang convertible from Cerritos through Hollywood and other parts of L.A. for more than an hour before winding up in a South L.A. neighborhood.
The incident began around 1:24 p.m. when authorities responded to a report of a home burglary in the 12300 block of Charlwood Street in Cerritos. The suspects were accused of stealing a box of jewelry.
A neighbor described the car the suspects were traveling in, and a helicopter unit found the Mustang on the westbound 91 Freeway heading toward the northbound 710 Freeway.
At one point in the chase, Reynolds exited the 101 Freeway at Hollywood Boulevard and began to skid the car in circular "donuts" before taking off again. They were also seen driving on the highway shoulder and driving the wrong way on other L.A. streets.
Once in South L.A., Reynolds and his passenger, 19-year-old Isaiah Young, stopped in front of a home near 51st and Hoover streets. That's where Reynolds exited the car and casually sat on the hood. The two began greeting and hugging people before police arrived and took the pair into custody.
The vehicle was rented by a female companion who accompanied Reynolds to Atwest Car Rental in South Los Angeles. The car was supposed to be returned Friday, but now it is in impound.
Reynolds is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, while Young is being held in lieu of $80,000 bail due to an outstanding warrant. Both suspects will be arraigned on Monday.