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Car Chase in Southern Florida

Aired March 22, 2002 - 14:39   ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Now live to southern Florida. Apparently a car chase, this vehicle you see right here. From Broward County now, the white vehicle. We are told it's a stolen vehicle. Stolen in Palm Beach, nearby there in southern Florida. This is the east coast of the state, southeastern edge of Florida. WFOR bringing you these pictures to us. Don't have a whole lot of information now on who is inside or what's happening, regarding the police chase. But clearly, there are helicopters on the scene that are pursuing this car. And understand also, it's a woman. Is that right, Eric?

OK, getting word of a woman inside the car. And stolen, again, from Palm Beach County. Now we're in Broward County. Not quite sure if the distance is that great from the origination point there. But clearly, the woman inside is trying to elude police. But as we've seen so many times in the past, oftentimes these people never get away. They just run out of gas or run into a dead end.

If we have our affiliate on the line there, let's go ahead and listen in again, to this chase here in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... heavily residential area. This area here is industrial. But just blasted through a heavily residential area without any regards. Pulled into a lot. OK. Coming out. Sunrise.

We're looking at eastbound on Sunrise, I think. Eastbound on Sunrise, heading towards, I believe, U.S. 1. This is Sunrise.

HEMMER: U.S. 1 runs right along the coast there in the eastern edge of Florida. As clearly, as we're watching this move through traffic, there are few things that can be more dangerous (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Oftentimes the police officers themselves have a system in place where they radio ahead to other precincts so they can get to these intersections, which sometimes are so darn precarious in a situation like this. To try and block off traffic, shut down the traffic lights, rather, and get the traffic to freeze.

But, as we can see here with that blue truck there traveling behind the white car, that oftentimes you cannot step everyone. It's virtually impossible. And many times we've seen this situation in southern California. Why southern California -- I can't tell you.

But this one in southern Florida right now. And this person clearly -- a woman driver, here -- is taking -- that's a close one -- just about every chance she can to not only get through intersections, but try and elude police. But as I alluded to a short time ago, oftentimes these chases just -- it's a question of time, before the driver gets tired or the car runs out of gas.

Or many times the police will try some evasive tactics, where they'll try and tap their -- oftentimes the rear quarter panel, either on the right or the left side of the car. Try and get that car into a skidding motion and a skidding pattern, to try to stop the person. And at that point police will rush in and apprehend the suspect.

Again, a woman driver, we're told. A stolen car. First in Palm Beach County, now driving through Broward County, in Florida. WFOR with the helicopter shot. As they trail us, we head to a more crowded intersection now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's just attracted an extreme amount of attention. At least five units joining in the chase now. Not sure what road they're on. Northbound, it seems to be. She's northbound, I believe. This road curves, so right now it's kind of in an easterly direction, off of Wilton Drive. Wilton Drive...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now heading south.

HEMMER: Apologize for the breakup in the signal there. Oftentimes the helicopter shots we get here -- speaking in terms of technology, there's a microwave that takes that signal from a camera on the helicopter, and bounces it back to, essentially a transmitter. And depending on where this helicopter is in the region, sometimes it's a strong signal and sometimes it's not so strong.

But again, the helicopter pilot clearly has a good line of sight on this, from WFOR. We'll continue to track and monitor this, and also try and pick up his reaction to give us a better idea of the area. It's moved into an area that now has trees.

Earlier you may have heard the helicopter pilot talking about a heavily residential area -- there's a close one again -- a heavily residential area in Broward County. Now on a two-lane road. Earlier, moving through a more crowded section. Let's listen again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... no matter what happens, there is not an (UNINTELLIGIBLE). It's impossible to elude. It's just really tough, unless they can get her fixed on a certain street where they know.

HEMMER: That's dangerous, here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like you see here. You can't tell where she will go.

HEMMER: You have to wonder what's going through the minds of these people. Why they think they can elude police or authorities, or helicopters flying overhead. I've never seen it done, in the years that we've been following these car chases and stolen cars. Not just cars, but also trucks and vehicles in different parts of the country.

Again, a woman stolen this car, the white car you see in our picture, from neighboring Palm Beach. And now we're in Broward County, Florida. Do we have it or not? If not -- OK. Let's get a break here, then. And -- all right. Now it's back with us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. He's not going that way. He's going to A1A. He's in Gateway Plaza. Yeah. Gateway Plaza shopping center.

No logic at all. And my pilot's pointing out that these are all stop-sign streets, here. This is in Fort Lauderdale. No traffic lights at this point.

HEMMER: You have to wonder if this individual, this woman, has a destination in mind. We've seen a number of chases where this person ends up driving home, or trying to get to home, anyway. And oftentimes they're quite familiar with the surface roads and the highways. And that may be the case here. I'm not sure.

Possibly this car -- I'm getting word now. It may have been stolen from Pampano Beach, in Florida. And you heard the report a few moments ago. Now in the neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale. Possibly moving back to the highway. A1A was the highway mentioned there which, again, runs along the eastern edge of Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is a dead-end street. Oh, I think he's finished. That's -- looks like...

HEMMER: That's the first sign. It's not a woman at all. It's a man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's running. I don't know. He just dropped something. I'm not sure. It looks something from the bag.

HEMMER: Oftentimes this is the point where the police move in. Why they have not responded just yet, I'm not quite sure. Perhaps they haven't caught up to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know as yet, Mark. I don't know where he is. There he goes. He's taking his time. Yeah.

HEMMER: No telling what's going through his mind right now. I wish I could tell you, but I have no idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's certainly looking behind him. That's for sure.

Yes, someone's driveway. There he is. I don't know. It looks like it says 13th Avenue. A cop car. I'm told the pilot sees a cop car, an officer. There, they got him -- they got him! Yes he is. Yes, the gun is drawn by the officer. He is surrendering, under that tree. Unfortunately we can't see that.

George, I think back to your right a little bit more.

Hold it here, George.

HEMMER: The police apparently waiting for him to make the wrong move. And he did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank goodness.

HEMMER: Here come the handcuffs. And what will be the beginning of a very long Friday night for this man here. They never win. Never seen it to this point, anyway. And so it goes on a Friday afternoon, from Broward County, Florida.




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