It appears that fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner abandoned his Nissan truck on a fire road above Big Bear Lake due to a broken axle. Of course, that doesn't explain why he lit the truck on fire before heading into the forest, but it suggests that abandoning the truck and setting out on foot just before a snowstorm hit the area may not have been his first choice. The Los Angeles News Group reports Saturday that "an arsenal of weapons and survival gear" was found in the truck, perhaps meaning that he took what he could carry and left behind the rest.
Authorities said it appeared that the axle of Dorner's truck broke when he briefly lost control of his Nissan pick-up on the access road, which is intended for use by heavy-duty fire equipment.
He set off on foot, then backtracked using his same footprints, before setting off on a different course and disappearing into the wilderness, according to officials, who spoke on the condition on anonymity.
No new leads have been reported on Saturday. Law enforcement officers continued to search the forest and structures, such as homes and cabins, where Dorner might possibly have holed up. Officials said they have been getting a lot of false leads.
Also on Saturday:
- Actor Charlie Sheen used TMZ to urge Dorner to call him. Sheen was mentioned in Dorner's long Facebook screed detailing grievances against the LAPD as well as a number of rambling conspiracies.
- Scrutiny of cars heading into Mexico at San Ysidro was said to be intense, slowing the traffic considerably.
- Undeveloped property owned by Dorner's mother in the Lake Arrowhead area was checked by searchers.
- Reports say that seven different LAPD officers opened fire on those LA Times delivery women in Torrance during the search for Dorner. It's one more data point making the case that those were the luckiest women in the world that day, but it also raises serious questions about the training and marksmanship of LAPD officers.
- Security will be high at Sunday's Grammy Awards at Staples Center, says CBS News.
Dorner is wanted in the killing of a Riverside police officer and an Irvine couple, and the wounding of two LAPD officers in a shootout in Corona. Dorner was fired from the LAPD in 2009 reportedly for lying about an assault by his training officer.
Previously on LA Observed:
Manhunt: Fired LAPD cop suspected of shooting three officers this morning
Photo of Dorner: KTLA screen grab