Oklahoma police describe wild chase, nearly a dozen damaged cars

Oklahoma police describe wild chase, nearly a dozen damaged cars

By Shelby Montgomery

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    STILLWATER, Oklahoma (KOCO) — A high-speed chase through Stillwater’s busiest areas led to 11 cars being smashed.

The chase started along Hall of Fame and Western. That’s where police say a suspect took off. And the moment it ended was caught on camera.

Video captures the moments the suspect tried to escape on foot from police, but he didn’t make it very far. The chase began several minutes earlier, as a traffic stop.

Suspect Carlos Lopez takes off as police rush inside their cars. The chase begins.

“The pursuit continued all over the town, literally,” Stillwater police spokesman Lt. Kyle Bruce said.

The suspect at times reached speeds of up to 80 mph.

“He was a danger,” Bruce said. “He was a hazard to the motoring public and we had to find a way to bring this to an end.”

Eventually, it ended in front of a weigh station.

“He made a big circle right there in the driveway. The dust was flying and they stopped him right there at the sidewalk,” witness Mike Hiner said.

He said things happened quickly.

“Guns were drawn and we didn’t know whether to run and hide or get closer, where we can see better,” he said.

During the chase, the suspect and police crashed into bystanders. Seven cars not involved in the pursuit were damaged.

“Because of his driving behavior and mannerisms, it was believed that he probably wasn’t going to stop, slow down, wasn’t going to obey traffic laws and at that point he was going to put people at risk, so we gotta find a way to get him shut down and stopped,” Bruce said.

Police say there are times when they call off chases.

“There are a lot of times we will initiate a pursuit for minor violations and we will terminate then. We do it case by case and let the officers make their judgment or let the supervisors who are working terminate the pursuit,” Bruce said.

Police say Lopez had several felony warrants, including one for assault and battery on a police officer.

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