Vacant house near Hollywood Hills that witnesses say was a drug den

Image copyright Jose Luis García

The hours-long standoff in Beverly Hills, involving a suspicious van, the police and neighbours, has come to an end.

It began at around 0800 (0700 GMT) after neighbours called for help when the car’s occupants became combative, firing what they believed to be a Molotov cocktail into a nearby home.

At 1700, Los Angeles police SWAT team officers and other officers surrounded the white van at the end of Bradbury Place in an area of hills south of Hollywood.

Police had repeatedly told the occupants to move the van away from several other houses on the street, while confirming that no one inside was injured.

After several hours, neighbours said the occupants arrived at an empty home, where they called their mother-in-law and said they had sprayed the water from a hose inside to help flush out a man and his child, who were presumed by some to be in the van.

Photo via Twitter

The father of the child reportedly called his mother-in-law who called for the police.

Police also announced that they received a call from a family member, who has since been identified as Leonardo Lautenschlager, who told the television news network Eyewitness News, that the occupants were harmless and that the house was a drug den, describing it as “the biggest crack house I ever seen in my life”.

“This is not a good place to live. We live here with people doing horrible things,” he told Eyewitness News.

According to Eyewitness News, the van’s cabin is decorated with “Mario Kart” stickers and playing cards in the colours of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Police diverted traffic for several blocks around the scene.

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