Suspect evades police after chase
By Brian Stanley Bstanley@stmedianetwork.com October 13, 2012 2:10PM
CHANNAHON -- Police suspect officers interrupted a burglary before a man in a van led them on a chase on Interstate 55 Friday.
Around 11 p.m. police spotted a conversion van driving in the industrial area of Northern Illinois Drive, according to Sgt. Steve Weiss.
“There have been some recent break-ins in that area and all of those businesses are long-closed by that hour,” Weiss said.
Initially unable to find the van on the dead-end street, officers returned to find the vehicle sitting between two semitrailers with its lights off.
“When (the squad car) reversed, the van did the same -- spinning tires, spraying gravel and nearly striking the squad car,” Weiss said.
The van then stopped and officers reportedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver. He was alone in the van and told police he’d been driving around looking for a place to urinate.
But instead of getting out, the man put the van in gear and sped to Route 6 where he ignored a stop sign and drove onto northbound I-55.
“Two units pursued the van to Interstate 80 where he pulled over and they prepared for a felony traffic stop,” Weiss said. “When they opened the door, he kept going again. The chase reached speeds between 20 to 70 miles per hour.”
After passing through Troy Township, Joliet and Plainfield, the van pulled over again near Route 53 in Bolingbrook where the driver bailed out.
“He climbed over the fence of the frontage road and escaped into some foilage. Canine and air units were called in but were unable to find him,” Weiss said.
The van was seized and police reportedly found sets of bolt cutters inside. Weiss said the investigation to identify the driver was ongoing Saturday morning.