EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) — An officer in Eagan used a pit maneuver earlier this month to end a police chase on Interstate 35E, and dash cam video caught it all.
Speeds topped more than a 100 mph during that chase, but speeds that night weren’t the only thing accelerating.
“At that time, your adrenaline’s going pretty good,” said Officer Brian Rezny, who chased the car six miles.
Police say Steven Jones was behind the wheel, wanted for running a red light earlier the same night. Minneapolis Police called off their chase after Jones started driving the wrong direction on Highway 100.
“Well, you know, it was just a guess,” said Rezny, who thought Jones might head south into Eagan, so he waited on the side of the highway to see if it would happen. “Ultimately caught up to the vehicle where you could read the plate, and realized I was behind the suspect vehicle. I’m thinking, ‘Oh boy! What am I going to do now?’”
Jones ran another red light and took off again when he saw the officer’s police lights come on.
“One of the biggest things I was thinking about, was get to the radio, call it out, be clear, so they can all figure out exactly what they’re going to do,” said Rezny.
Teamwork and training played an important role in stopping the vehicle.
Officer Tracy Harrell grabbed the stop sticks. In police dash cam video from the chase, you can see him standing on the side of the interstate, right after deploying them.
“You can position yourself. You just throw them,” said Harrell. “It was a good team effort. I feel good to be a part of it.”
The sticks slowed Jones, but they didn’t stop him.
“He’s running hard from us, and I’m thinking, this guy’s not going to stop,” recalled Rezny.
So, using what he had been trained to do and what he had seen other officers do, Rezny tried the pit maneuver. He tapped the right back end, getting Jones’ vehicle to spin and crash into the snow-packed ditch.
Within seconds, Eagan officers arrested Jones after he came out of his car with his hands up. It was over.
“It couldn’t have worked out much better,” Rezny said.
Eagan officers train specifically on how to do a successful pit maneuver. Their chief says chases like this one highlight how important the technique is.
The car successfully left the road and no one was hurt.
Now, Jones faces a felony fleeing charge for what he did.