Chopper 7HD aids police in high-speed chase

January 28, 2011 10:03:00 PM PST
Charges are pending Friday night against two people involved in a police pursuit that lasted about 80 miles.

The pursuit started in west suburban Forest Park and ended with a crash in Rockford.

At least one of the suspects is from Rockford.

Police expect several municipalities will be filing charges against the two suspects. They were both hospitalized but one has been released and is being interviewed by police.

Two civilians received minor injuries.

This pursuit began in Forest Park shortly after 3 p.m. Friday when an tactical officer tried to stop a silver Dodge Charger in an area known for drug trafficking.

The officer gave chase as others joined in following the car in what they called a "controlled manner."

At one point the drive was blocked by a civilian car and he flashed a weapon.

"Someone within the vehicle pointed what she believed to be a shotgun or a rifle out of the vehicle at her," said Rockford Deputy Police Chief Theo Glover.

Drivers then headed west on Interstate 290 to Interstate 90 where he continued northwest toward Rockford. He weaved through traffic, around cars and through red lights, often using turn signals even as he tried to evade police.

The driver narrowly avoided several collisions until he was hit by a car that had a green light at the corner of Harrison and 9th. The crash caused the chain reaction that damaged two other cars. The driver, meanwhile, got out and tried to get away.

"Within seconds after the accident, the impact of the vehicle, we were right on top of the -- I think it was the driver that may have gotten out and it seemed like he attempted to grab another vehicle," Glover said.

Rockford police say rather than covering the news, the presence of Chopper 7HD not only helped make them aware of the situation, but also helped them track the suspects leading up to their arrest.

"They were able to be our eyes, if you would, because they followed the vehicle all over the Rockford area," Glover said.

Police say they were also able to maintain a safe distance as they tracked the car because they were able to follow the car's movement by watching Chopper 7HD's shot on ABC7's website.

Police were able to see the driver of that car get rid of something from his vehicle while they tracked it. They pinpointed that location and recovered what they believe is the driver's weapon.