Sterling Heights woman charged with fleeing police after chase through Detroit, Hamtramck

Valerie Mathews charged with third-degree fleeing and eluding

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – A Sterling Heights woman was charged Thursday in connection with the police pursuit that covered parts of Detroit and Hamtramck Tuesday.

Valerie Margaret Mathews, 28, is charged with third-degree fleeing and eluding. Other charges may be pending.

Authorities said during the arraigment that she has multiple holds in multiple jurisdictions, including Sandusky, Ohio. Bond was set at $50,000 and if she posts bond, she'll have to wear a GPS tether.

A probable cause conference was set for April 13 and a preliminary hearing for April 19.

What happened

Officers were dispatched to the area of Gable Street near Stockton Street in Detroit. Their investigation led them to a suspicious van and as police police followed the van and activated overhead police lights, the driver refused to pull over and led police across Detroit's east side and into Hamtramck.

The chase ended in an epic takedown when an officer tackled a driver who tried to make a run for it.

The officer who made the arrest shared her story with Local 4.

The chase weaved through Detroit's east side and the streets of Hamtramck for about 25 miles. It was all part of a possible kidnapping investigation.

Helicopter video showed police chasing a dark blue transit van across yards and through a very tight residential neighborhood. Each time, the driver managed to get away.

The chase ended when the driver got out of the van near I-75 and Caniff, where she was tackled and taken into custody by Hamtramck officer Nikole Jabour.

"Our dispatch called us to a chase in Detroit regarding a possible child abduction. So my partner and I started going towards the chase," said Jabour. 

Police said the chase started when they received a call and believed a child might have been in the van. The woman reached speeds of 80 mph on the freeway and led police through several neighborhoods, jumping curbs and front lawns.

But the woman was alone in the van, and she tried to make a run for it at I-75 and Caniff where Detroit and Hamtramck police boxed the van in.

"Her tire started wobbling, so she started losing a bit of control, but we were right on her," said Jabour. "A Detroit police car got right in front of her and was able to stop her. I knew she was about to bail out of the car on foot, so once I saw her bail I started running for her, and I tackled her."

Jabour said she has been involved in chases before, but this is the first time she personally ended one with a takedown.

"This is my first tackle in a chase ... I got up and I was like, 'Woo, that was pretty cool," said Jabour. 

It's still unclear why the woman ran from police so furiously. No charges have been announced.

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