Tuesday, June 24, 2008

100 mile chase... For failure to signal a lane change?!?

A chase that lasted 100 miles, sometimes at speeds exceeding 100 MPH occurred last Thursday in Missouri. Commentary isn't necessary here, so I'll just post a few excerpts from the Daily Guide story...

Thursday morning was an ordinary day for Officer Derin Richardson when he noticed a Chevrolet Cavalier with two occupants, a man and a woman, that changed lanes on Interstate 44 about 10:34 a.m. without signaling near eastbound mile marker 159 and then ran off the roadway briefly. The Cavalier got off at Exit 161, turned onto Highway Z, and stopped in the parking lot of the Cenex gas station.
Richardson got out of his patrol car and began to walk toward Cavalier. Rather than providing his license and registration, the driver, later identified as Anthony Cesar Hervas, 20, of Chicago, gunned the car’s accelerator and fled.


St. Robert police have ordered stop sticks for their patrol cars, but Gettys said his department’s officers haven’t yet gone through training to use them and they can’t be used until that training takes place. Multiple efforts were made to use stop sticks to puncture Hervas’ tires but all failed until his Cavalier got several hundred yards across the Franklin County line into St. Louis County.

To continue:

While it’s no more possible to have officers train with 100 mph chases than it is to have officers experience bullets being shot past their heads, Gettys said the hundreds of hours per week spent by officers behind the wheel gives them an intensive familiarity with their vehicle and how it handles, and that can be crucial in a pursuit. “Just driving on a daily basis, their accustomed to driving,” Gettys said. “We’re officers but we’re also human beings so we’re always going to get excited, but our training prepares us for that.”

You can read the entire story HERE.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Police Pursue Seatbelt Violator in Houston

Early Monday morning, the Houston Police Department began pursuing a silver, two-door car through the streets of Houston at dangerously high speeds. The offense? The driver wasn't wearing his seatbelt.

Beginning in North Houston, the chase, which lasted approximately thirty minutes, moved through the Medical Center and the Galleria area - both areas of high pedestrian traffic. At points, the driver of the silver, two-door attempted to evade police by driving on the wrong side of the road. The chase continued on surface streets for sometime before eventually moving onto the freeway. There, the driver weaved in an out of traffic and drove on the shoulder. The chase ended when the suspect swerved, barely missing another car, and careened into a guardrail.

We at PursuitWatch believe this chase to be completely unnecessary. At the time the chase was authorized, the officers thought they were pursuing a suspect for a mere seatbelt violation - hardly warranting possible harm to innocent bystanders. PursuitWatch will be watching this story closely, and we will provide more details as they become available.

Video of the pursuit can be seen here: http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou080623_ac_sloopchase.2f27177b.html

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

OnStar Technology Demo

This Thursday I will be attending a OnStar Technology Demo to ask questions about their "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown" service. To quote the press release: "Police officers in pursuit of stolen vehicles are often faced with the risk of endangering themselves, innocent bystanders and property. OnStar-equipped vehicles involved in high-speed chases, however, can be slowed remotely, enabling law enforcement officials to apprehend fleeing criminals without risking lives or damaging other vehicles."

We will see what I learn and the true possibilities of this being an effective tool for law enforcement. I will update Thursday afternoon.