Woman leads police on slow-speed chase in Utica

Driver is facing multiple charges including fleeing, eluding, reckless driving and assault

UTICA, Mich. – It was a bizarre scene that first started in a gas station parking lot, with the driver nearly running several people over. That driver then led Utica police on a chase and, at one point, started ramming their patrol cars.

On Friday, Local 4 looked at the dashcam video from the chase, which happened on Jan. 2.

The low-speed chase started miles away in Utica. Someone called 911 about the car and driver randomly pulling in and out of spots at a gas station, almost running people over.

A Utica officer first tried to get the female driver to stop, but she doesn’t. Moments later, she stopped long enough for the officer to get out, but then she peeled off, nearly missing gas pumps, and then drove the wrong way into oncoming traffic on Van Dyke Avenue.

Eventually, she returned to Hall Road, and when she picked up speed, Utica police ended the chase. But then she turned around on Hall road and slowed way down, sometimes barely moving. So Utica police re-engaged, which Chief Sean Coady said was the right move.

“Head-on collisions are extremely dangerous, and in an attempt to protect the public and to protect other motorists, we continued to pursue,” said Coady.

With lights and sirens back on, she side-swipes the officer for the first time.

More officers arrived on the scene and tried to box her in, and instead, she forced through and took off.

The slow chase continued to the M-59 expressway and eventually exited at Dequindre Road, where an Oakland County deputy tried to get involved by cutting her off. Still, she swerved around them and into oncoming traffic.

That’s when the deputy performs a textbook pit maneuver, putting her in the ditch. The woman refused to get out of her car and gave officers the middle finger.

One minute later, they forced her door open, and despite her fighting back, that driver was finally under arrest.

“She was opposing traffic and taking up multiple lanes,” Coady said. “It wasn’t just the motorist we were concerned about and that we were trying to stop. It’s the innocent people that were trying to get to where they were going.”

The driver has not been arraigned, but she’s facing charges of fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, and maybe even assault after intentionally driving into officers.

About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.