On Wednesday, February 7, Police chased two men in a $19.95-per-day U-Haul GMC Savana from Locust Grove, Oklahoma to Tontitown, Arkansas in a chaotic high-speed pursuit. According to Tontitown police, speeds during the chase reached over 120 mph before the two Michigan natives were finally caught with firearms and Molotov cocktails (or improved flammable devices) in their possession. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured in the chase.
The chase finally ended when one Tontitown officer used a "tactical vehicle intervention" (TVI) maneuver to spin the van into a highway barrier. After that, more police cars were able to surround the van and make the arrests. The officer who executed the TVI maneuver ended up spinning into the grass alongside the highway and rolling several times. They were taken to a nearby hospital but suffered only minor injuries and has since been released. Several other police cars were damaged in the chase and arrest but no other officers were hurt.
Tontitown police department also said that the fleeing van hit another car head-on in Oklahoma but didn't say if anyone in the other car was injured. Hopefully, those passengers weren't hurt.
"Our stance here is the priority of life," said Tontitown detective Keith Lindley. "[A fleeing vehicle is] like having someone point a loaded gun into a crowd."
The two men—Cory Robert Mercier and Trenton Johnson—are being held at Benton County jail on multiple charges, including possession of destructive devices, aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, and, obviously, felony fleeing. Both Mercier and Johnson were already wanted by Westland, Michigan police for attempting to run over officers. They'll appear in court on March 18.
High-speed chases are dangerous for everyone involved but having a cargo van, and several police cars behind it, going 120 mph is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully, the chase ended without any reports of serious injuries.
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