Car Chase In Van Buren County

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jan 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-04 15:51:07-05

HARTFORD, Mich. – Van Buren County deputies are still looking for a man who lead them on a dangerous high-speed chase Sunday afternoon.

Newly released dash cam video shows how deputies followed the man down icy back roads and even along woodland trails in his effort to get away from the law.

The chase started near Hartford.

The Mireles family, who live on 61st Avenue, had a front row seat to the start of the chase. “It was just quick. It just happened so quick,” said Ruben Mireles.

A deputy first tried to pull the suspect over for a license plate problem. He stopped in David Mireles’ driveway. When the deputy got out of the car, the driver tore out through Mireles’ ditch and front yard, driving around to the back.

The dash cam video picks him up in the distance behind the houses, tearing through the yard.

He drove right by the family’s woodshed, nearly hitting Mireles’ girlfriend, Bernice Herrington. “I turned around and that car was right here and then he had his door open,” said Herrington. “It looked like he was fixing to jump. He didn’t look drunk. He didn’t look scared. He was looking out his mirror. I think he was looking to see if somebody was chasing him.”

From there, the suspect took off down 61st Avenue again. The deputy caught up with him and followed for about 20 minutes.

A driver called 911 dispatch as the chase went by her, explaining how fast the suspect was going: “He was going 75, 80 flying by me, and there was a bunch of cop cars, and I tried pointing the cops that way, but they didn’t see me.”

The 911 caller also explained to dispatch where he lost deputies around a corner: “There’s, like, a house with a big building and bunch of junk cars, and that’s where he pulled off, and the cops didn’t see him. I tried to point him that way.”

At one point in the dash cam video, the suspect turns onto a dead-end road, but doesn’t stop. Instead he starts speeding down a wooded trail that some deputies didn’t even know was there.

The chase continued through the woods.

After they got back on Red Arrow Highway, another deputy joined the chase. However, because the suspect was driving recklessly, blowing stop signs and passing other motorists, they called off the chase so the public wasn’t in danger.

The Mireles family is happy nobody got hurt.

“I was just glad he knew how to drive,” said Herrington.

Deputies couldn’t get good information on the driver from the license plate because it didn’t belong to the Honda.

They said the plate actually belongs to a Benton Harbor man who was locked up in jail at the time of the chase.

They are looking for a bald, white man in his late 20s or early 30s.

If anyone has information on who the driver might be, contact the Van Buren Sheriff’s Department at 269-657-3101.