Charges expected against driver in police chase from Southfield to Detroit

44-year-old suspect arrested; 2 others released

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor


Charges are expected to be brought against the driver accused of leading police on a multi-city, wild chase that ended in a crash on the Detroit-Highland Park border.

Southfield police said the incident started Wednesday evening when officers tried to pull over a driver in a Crown Victoria for a traffic violation near 8 Mile Road and Northland Drive. The driver didn't stop, instead speeding onto the Lodge Freeway.

Sky 4 was over the chase and caught it all on video.

Video: Police chase ends in collision on Woodward

At one point, the driver got off on 7 Mile Road, spun out on the service drive, then drove the wrong way down an exit ramp and got back on the freeway.

Officers from Detroit and Highland Park joined the pursuit, which continued until the driver crashed into an SUV at Woodward Avenue over the Davison Freeway.

Video shows the driver get out and try to run from officers. Police said officers used a Taser to subdue the driver when he wouldn't comply with orders to get on the ground.

The driver, a 44-year-old Christopher Melms, of Farmington Hills, was taken to the Southfield Police Department before going to Providence Hospital to be checked out.

Police said Melms is expected to be charged with driving on a suspended license and fleeing and eluding.

The driver also has a criminal history that includes unarmed robbery, felonious assault and multiplies drug charges. Southfield police said they've been contacted by another police department who said the driver fled from officers in a previous case two weeks ago. They also said he's a known heroin addict.

Two other people in the car, a 43-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, both from Farmington Hills, were released at the scene.

Police said the woman has outstanding felony warrants out of Alleghany County, Pa., for drugs and fleeing and eluding. Police said she wasn't arrested because Alleghany County would not extradite her.

The 23-year-old was taken to a hospital because he complained of hurting his ribs in the crash, police said.

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