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Truck chase ends at airport

Man drove past planes before smashing into fences

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Police chase the driver of a pickup who crashed through the fence at a Phoenix airport.

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Police
Phoenix (Arizona)

(CNN) -- A man who led police on a freeway chase in Phoenix, Arizona, was apprehended Thursday after driving onto the taxiway at the city's Sky Harbor airport and crashing a pickup truck through two fences, officials said.

Sgt. Randy Force of the Phoenix Police Department said officers shot at the suspect in two separate incidents during the chase, but the man was not hurt.

He was slightly injured when police vehicles hit the allegedly stolen truck to finally bring it to a stop, Force said, but is being treated and will soon be released to police custody.

The sergeant said the man will be booked "on a number of charges."

The incident began when a man who left his truck running at a gas station reported the vehicle stolen, Force said.

Authorities spotted the truck and chased it before backing off the pursuit to avoid provoking the suspect into driving at high speed. A police helicopter monitored the action, Force said.

The driver kept mostly to the speed limit on the highways but then burst through a restricted area at the airport and drove onto the taxiway, where aircraft can roll, or taxi, from one part of the airport to another.

"We're really lucky he did not make it onto a runway," said airport spokeswoman Debra Osteicher. "He was on a taxiway going past planes that had come to a stop because we had known he was out there and going to be near them. So they did all come to a stop."

The runway is the strip on which aircraft can take off and land.

At one point, the driver sped around a large jet that was sitting on the runway. Trying to leave the taxiway, the driver crashed the truck through one chain-link fence, but failed in an attempt to crash through another. Police cars closed in behind him to keep him from backing away.

"When the suspect broke through a fence and made his way into the Air Operations Area, followed closely by police, air traffic controllers stopped air traffic at Sky Harbor," said a statement from the airport. "Air traffic was stopped for a few minutes."

Force said the driver also hit a police officer on a motorcycle at the airport. That officer was being treated at a hospital and is expected to be released soon, he added.

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