Authorities launched a large-scale search on Tuesday after a juvenile suspected of tagging ran into a 36-inch-wide drainage pipe to elude police.
Concerned the youth may have become stuck, about 50 personnel responded from the Fullerton police, fire and public works departments, and Anaheim and Huntington Beach fire departments.
After a search that lasted more than two hours, the youth was found, safe and sound, in a manhole.
The incident began at about 1:30 p.m., when Fullerton police responded to a report of tagging in a concrete flood control channel in the 1400 block of East Kimberly Avenue, said Fullerton Deputy Fire Chief Julie Kunze.
Police took three male juveniles into custody at the scene, but one suspect fled into a concrete drainage pipe, Kunze said.
Rescuers made their way about 500 feet inside the pipe that tapers from about 36 inches to about 18 inches, Kunze said.
Rescuers found markings inside the pipe indicating the male juvenile had been there, but he wasn’t found.
Rescuers then opened a manhole around 4:05 p.m., about 1,500 feet from the entrance of the pipe and the juvenile came out on his own, according to an Orange County Register photographer at the scene.
The juvenile wasn’t injured, said Fullerton police Sgt. Jason Schoen. “He just didn’t want to get caught,” Schoen said.
The four juveniles were arrested in connection with the vandalism, he said.