Police car demolishes lamp post while chasing suspect on U of M campus
A police pursuit on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor took a scary turn Thursday after a police vehicle went off-road – and right into a lamp post.
On Thursday afternoon around 5 p.m., officers with the Ann Arbor Police Department spotted an 18-year-old Detroit man they say was wanted in connection with a February robbery.
The man took off on foot with police in pursuit, headed towards the Diagonal Green — a large open space in the middle of the Ann Arbor campus more commonly referred to as “The Diag.”
“I was walking away from The Diag and I saw a man running with several police cars behind him,” University of Michigan student Aaron Chappel told Global News. “I saw a couple officers on foot as well chasing him.”
The 21-year-old German Studies major soon found himself with a front-row seat as the pursuit crossed his immediate path.
“I started filming when they got really close,” Chappel said. “I got out of the way, and then got my camera out.”
His video (see above) shows police on foot chasing the suspect towards the Hatcher Graduate Library. Seconds later, an Ann Arbor police vehicle is seen taking off across the snow-covered grass at considerable speed.
The vehicle swerves to avoid pedestrians, before slamming into — and knocking over — a lamp post.
Incredibly, the vehicle continues the pursuit while dragging the lamp post underneath it, striking a row of garbage cans as it moves towards the suspect.
“It was very odd to see the SUV keep going with the pole [underneath it],” Chappel said.
Police confirm a Tazer was also used during the arrest of the teen, whose identity is not being released at this time.
Police say the officer’s haste as well as the use of the directed-energy weapon were justified by the circumstances.
“One of our concerns was when [the suspect] took off running — he took off running on the Diag and we believed that his intent was to go in the graduate library,” Lt. Matthew Lige from the Ann Arbor Police Department told the Michigan Daily. “And obviously we did not want him to go in the graduate library for a number of reasons.”
Police confirmed that the suspect will be held in the Washtenaw County Jail for questioning.
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