When a motorist decides to lead police on a car chase, it is typically just the latest in a string of bad decisions. In many cases, a wrong turn or moment of distraction brings about a quick end to the pursuit. Sometimes, however, it lasts long enough for something truly bizarre to happen. Here are seven of the craziest examples:
Driving a limousine might come with some occasional excitement depending on who is riding in the back, but one chauffeur in Westchester County, New York, decided to create his own fun. In April 2006, he set off down the road and led officers on a chase that topped 120 miles per hour.
Even after the driver seemed to have ruined his car’s drivetrain, he clearly was not ready for the joyride to end. Instead, he threw the limo in reverse and sped down the highway traveling backward. Police later determined that there was someone in the passenger’s seat who was along for the entire ride. In total, the outrageous act led to more than two dozen criminal counts against the rogue chauffeur.
There are not too many production vehicles better suited for a high-speed chase than a Chevrolet Corvette. That must have been what one culprit in Buckeye County, Arizona, was counting on when he decided to take his sports car out for a spin.
At one point, cops were struggling to keep up with the coupe as it sped down the road in excess of 165 miles per hour. The pursuit came to an abrupt end, however, when the ‘Vette crashed into the rear end of a much larger truck. Despite the fact that the driver was not wearing his seatbelt and was thrown out of the vehicle, he was able to limp away without any major injuries.
OJ and AC
No list of crazy police chases would be complete without the most attention-grabbing low-speed pursuit in American history. Before disgraced NFL star O.J. Simpson stood trial for his ex-wife’s murder, he sat shotgun in a 1993 Ford Bronco with his longtime friend and former football player A.C. Cowlings behind the wheel.
The pair led cops down a Los Angeles freeway as spectators nationwide watched it all unfold live on television.
Big Rig Blaze
In November 2001, a criminal made off with a massive lumber truck and police in Dallas, Texas, soon caught up with him. The 18-wheeler might not have been the fastest getaway vehicle, but it provided a bit of protection from the hail of bullets coming from the officers in pursuit. After cops fired multiple rounds, a small blaze erupted in the truck. When the trailer lost a shredded tire, the fire grew even more intense.
Nevertheless, its determined driver kept going as part of an increasingly futile attempt to escape with the stolen big rig. Pretty soon, the massive pieces of wood on the trailer started to shake loose and litter the highway. One plank nearly destroyed a nearby school bus. When the perpetrator finally gave up the chase, it became clear that he had been hit by at least a few of the officers’ bullets.
In June 2003, a suspect in Missoula County, Montana, led cops on a dangerous chase after opening fire on patrons at a local bar. Midway through the pursuit, he stopped and took a few shots at police officers before getting back in the driver’s seat and taking off once again.
His actions left one victim dead and several others seriously wounded. The driver was also badly hurt when the chase ended in a crash, which led to his arrest, conviction, and a prison term of 11 life sentences.
Some criminals choose a fast car to make a quick getaway, but others want to leave a more lasting impression. That was the case in June 2004 when a subject took control of an armored bulldozer and began destroying property in the town of Granby, Colorado. Authorities and locals looked on in horror as he leveled huge structures and residences throughout the community.
He had a pair of rifles with him and appeared to be taking his revenge on residents that he considered enemies. After leaving a trail of destruction that cost an estimated $7 million to repair, the deranged driver took his own life before cops could detain and arrest him.
A reinforced dozer is not the most destructive vehicle a criminal can choose when leading cops on a chase. For a former soldier in San Diego, California, nothing but a fully equipped M60 tank would do.
In May 1995, he stole the military vehicle from a local National Guard armory and began rolling over everything in his path.
Although the heavy-duty joyride left a number of cars and various other property flattened in its wake, at least no one was seriously injured or killed.