BAYSIDE -- More drivers are speeding away from Bayside police than ever before. The latest incident happened Saturday morning, November 18th, and ended in a crash. Bayside's police chief said many of the pursuits begin with minor traffic violations, and when the officer tries to pull the driver over, he or she takes off.
On Saturday, Bayside Police Chief Scott McConnell said an officer on patrol spotted a driver making an illegal U-turn.
"It was just a minor traffic violation," McConnell said.
When the officer tried to pull him over...
"The officer reported the vehicle was fleeing at 90 miles-an-hour," McConnell said.
In Bayside, McConnell said their policy is to only pursue if a violent felony occurs. He said his officer terminated the pursuit after about a quarter-mile, but at Lake Drive and Brown Deer Road, the driver lost control and crashed into a street light -- in a 35 miles-per-hour zone.
"The vehicle was not able to negotiate a curve and lost control," McConnell said.
In a tweet, Bayside police explained the car was stolen, and after the crash, the man behind the wheel took off on foot. Police said the officer fought with the suspect who turned out to be armed.
"Don't know how the suspect obtained the firearm. We know it was a .40 caliber with an extended clip," McConnell said.
For a force of only a dozen officers, this type of activity has become a growing problem. Over the past three weeks, five vehicles have fled Bayside officers.
"Over the years, typically we have seen a half-dozen chases on an annual basis. In the last few years we've probably seen five or six, up to 10 chases a month here," McConnell said.
Another social media post by Bayside police draws attention to $6,000 worth of illegal drugs found in a vehicle pulled over for a traffic violation. This incident originated at Brown Deer Road and Port Washington Road.
"We're out and have a high visibility policy in the department. We are out there patrolling," McConnell said.
In the drug case, police said the owner of the vehicle wasn't the person behind the wheel, and we're told the owner isn't cooperating with the investigation.
Charges could come Monday for the driver involved in Saturday's wreck.