Sara heard some yelling from outside, but didn’t think too much of it. Still, she was mildly curious, so as she was going downstairs she peered out one of the windows to see what was going on. Our basement has those little half windows up at head level, so when Sara looked out she was eye level with a man on the ground with a police officer on top of him. For several long moments they made direct eye contact, not more than ten feet apart.
“Shane,” she said, “uh…you might want to come here and see this.”
I wonder what he was thinking as he stared into Sara’s eyes? Was he silently pleading for help? Was he feeling remorse from some crime? Was he ashamed to be seen in such an awkward position? Did he feel contempt to see someone who hadn’t had to deal with the kinds of things he’s had to deal with in his life peeking out from behind the curtains?
After he was handcuffed and taken away, scores of plain clothes police officers in bullet proof vests loitered about in front of our condo, more arriving every minute. I wasn’t sure why they were all still there until a canine unit arrived. When the dog came out of the car, it went nuts. Quickly the officers retrieved something from the alley (Drugs? A gun?), after which all of the officers packed up and left.
A little exciting, no doubt, but it turns out this was just the beginning.
As we were driving to the store later, we saw this:
(Picture courtesy the excellent Eric Allix Rogers)
“Do you think this has anything to do with our fugitive?” I asked. It’s not every day that you see a car up over the sidewalk and crashed into an elementary school. What are the odds that it was unrelated to our earlier close encounter?
Well, when you have questions like these, there is only one place to turn: the Internet. Unfortunately, I didn’t turn up much. However, I did stumble upon something I hadn’t even considered: all of this happened while the Farmers’ Market was going on! The car crash pictured above is mere feet from the market, and the street is as crowded during the market as it ever is. It is extremely lucky that nobody was standing there at the time of the crash (I myself spend some time standing on that spot on the way to and from the market).
So what happened? I had to resort to witness interrogation to get what little information I could.
This silver car tried to evade the police. It sped east on 61st Street, leaving a trail of smoke behind – and a large number of police in hot pursuit. It attempted to turn right on Dorchester at speed, narrowly missing plowing into the 61st Street Farmer’s Market and crumpling into the fence by Carnegie School. The driver fled on foot while police apprehended an injured passenger. No other cars or people were injured, amazingly.
That’s right, an honest to goodness high speed police chase which almost ended in extreme disaster for the farmers’ market!
(Picture courtesy farmers’ market shopper Eric Allix Rogers)
At least two people told me that they were forced to drive for cover from the out of control vehicle, so some of the details are a little scarce. Did the fugitive try to run down the alley or down the street? We’re not sure:
I was busy running in the opposite direction in case the car plowed straight into the market.
I was also told that the chase started west of Washington park, closer to 55th and King, which means that there must be a lot more people who saw this (and that makes sense anyway, since you don’t pick up a police escort as depicted above without a little running room).
I pride myself on my Internet detective skills, so it is absolutely killing me that I can’t find any more information about who the guy was or what prompted the chase. Why isn’t this all over the news? A high speed police chase, followed by a crash into an elementary school of all things, a foot race, a flying tackle and arrest, and a canine unit finding evidence hastily discarded into an alley, with dozens of shaken up farmers’ market witnesses to boot! Surely that has to be a bigger story than, “A milestone for Maggie the orangutan at Brookfield Zoo” or “Police see lit cigarette as loaded weapon in statewide drought“, right?
Nobody knows nothin’?