UK & World News

  • 14 February 2013, 13:30

LA Cop Manhunt: Tied-Up Couple Recount Ordeal

A couple who came face to face with rogue LA police officer Christopher Dorner say they thought he was going to kill them.

Karen and Jim Reynolds have been describing how they found him in their cabin just a stone's throw from the sheriff's command post in California's Big Bear Lake ski resort on Wednesday.

They believe he had been holed up there periodically since last Friday.

The couple told how Dorner rushed towards them as they entered the property.

They recognised him immediately from TV reports.

"He said four or five times that he didn't have a problem with us, he just wanted to clear his name," Mr Reynolds said. 

But he added: "I didn't believe him, I thought he was going to kill us."

Dorner bound their hands and put pillow cases over their heads.

He then took off in their purple Nissan Rogue.

Somehow the pair managed to wriggle free and get hold of a mobile phone to dial for help.

"What we did was kind of scoot our way. I went up and she went down," the relieved husband explained.

"Then she got her gag off and then we both worked on trying to stand up."

The Reynolds told their story at a news conference late on Wednesday to clear up earlier reports that it was two female housekeepers who had come across the killer cop in the cabin.

"We really very much wanted to clarify things," said Mrs Reynolds.

"But, it was taking us a whole lot of time to get over the trauma too and ... we never slept for one second, since this happened."

Had it not been for the emergency call the Reynolds made, Dorner just might have managed to flee the resort where scores of police had been conducting a door-to-door search for him for days

Dorner managed to elude them for a time by pulling behind two school buses and making a quick turn onto a mountain road.

But then he crashed the car and was forced to look for another.

That is when he confronted Rick Heltebrake, a ranger who takes care of a Boy Scout camp nearby.

He saw Dorner emerge from behind some trees, dressed in military fatigues and holding a semi-automatic-style rifle.

"I don't want to hurt you. Start walking and take your dog," Mr Heltebrake recalled Dorner saying as he pointed the gun at him.

He fled with his 3-year-old dalmatian, Suni, and immediately called police, who quickly found the suspect again.

This time he opened fire as he drove past a car carrying game wardens looking for him.

Out of options, Dorner made a break for a cabin and barricaded himself inside, where he made his last stand.

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