A dramatic scene unfolded on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Detroit as police tackled a suspect in the middle of traffic on I-75. Detroit Police arrested a man suspected of homicide, following a high speed chase that had started nearly an hour and a half earlier. According to Click on Detroit, police began following the suspect around 11:30 in the morning. After briefly losing the suspect, the chase resumed around 12:30 PM after his car, a grey Nissan Murano SUV, was spotted from a helicopter. The suspect drove into traffic on Grand River Ave, going in and out of parking structures, and entering and exiting both I-75 and I-96 multiple times. The chase concluded with the suspect being tackled to the ground by police at 12:50 PM.
While many would think an arrest on the highway would mean the suspect was in a car, the real story is much more interesting. The Detroit Free Press reported that the suspect pulled over on the shoulder of I-75 after sustaining a flat tire to his left front wheel. The suspect got out of the car, jumped over the median, and started running into northbound traffic. Police also exited their cars, hopped the median, and ran after the suspect. The suspect then ran up the hood of an oncoming Chrysler Town and Country, and stood on the roof of the vehicle. The Chrysler stopped moving, and police officers tackled the suspect from the roof of the car onto the ground.
Police took the suspect into custody, where in addition to being charged with attempting to flee police and resisting arrest, he will also be questioned regarding the shooting of a woman. Officials say the woman in question is in “extremely grave condition”.
The driver of the Chrysler vehicle spoke with the Detroit Free Press. He is an employee for an Italian company called Vigel North America and was driving a company car north from Detroit back to their headquarters in Madison Heights. The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, said “it looked like in the movies,” and that he had stopped the car “because [he] didn’t know what to do.” The driver is still distraught from the incident, saying he feared for his life and is “still shaking from what happened.”
Police chases as noteworthy as this one are rare. A report published by USA Today found that 76% of police chases are over in 5 minutes or less. But sometimes, they go wrong. That same USA Today report found that nationally, 11,506 people have been killed in police chases between 1979 and 2013. That's an average of nearly one death per day. Of that number, more than 5,000 were innocent bystanders, most of whom were killed in their own car after being hit by a fleeing driver. In the state of Michigan, 27 people died as a result of police chases in 2014, according to Mlive. This is a significant increase from 16 deaths in 2013. While police chases like the one that happened on I-75 can be exciting and look like they are straight out of an action movie, it is clear that they can also be extremely dangerous. For more information on the dangers of high-speed police chases, check out this recent post from The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog.
High speed pursuits are dangerous for everyone involved - the police, the suspect, and innocent bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like any instance in which a car is speeding, motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian car crashes are possible. Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation if you have been involved in an automobile accident. Our attorneys work hard to help those who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents.