Police pursuit of Jeep Cherokee ends in head-on crash in Tempe
TEMPE, Ariz. - A freeway pursuit on metro Phoenix freeways ended on a local street when a SUV being chased by state troopers accelerated through a Tempe intersection and collided with another vehicle before crashing.
Troopers swarmed the crashed SUV and arrested the driver, since identified by DPS officials as Mitchell Timothy Taebel, 31. Meanwhile, other troopers went to the other vehicle involved in the crash Wednesday.
A person in the other vehicle was placed on a gurney and wheeled away. Both vehicles involved in the crash were heavily damaged.
According to DPS, the police chase began, after an initial police stop at around 10:30 a.m., west of Buckeye. DPS officials said the driver would not pull over, and headed east along the I-10, all the way to Loop 202 in Tempe.
During the chase, Taebel actually called the FOX 10 newsroom, and spoke with Assignment Editor Christine Goodfriend.
"There was a man on the phone saying he didn't do anything, and he wanted people to stop chasing him," said Goodfriend. "Then, he said there was a conspiracy against him."
The pursuit ended when the suspect's vehicle hit another vehicle head-on near Rural Road and Spence Avenue in Tempe.
A Highway Patrol spokesman Quentin Mehr said information on what started the incident aren't immediately available.
As for Taebel, DPS officials said he has an extensive criminal history in multiple states, and they are aware that he holds anti-government views.
Some people said the crash was so loud and there was so much smoke, they thought a bomb went off.
"I was in here sleeping, and my uncle was telling me there was something on the news that he was watching, and then we heard a loud boom," said Oliver Jackson, who lives on Rural, near Apache."Like a bomb had went off. I jumped up, thought someone hit my car here."
"I'm a little shaken," said one person. "I was right after it happened. it took me about 10 minutes or so to calm down."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.