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Man leads police on hour-long chase through 9 cities followed by two hour standoff

Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 17:29:25-05

What started out as a call about a suspicious car led to an hour-long chase through nine communities, followed by a two-hour crisis negotiation to get the driver out of the car after he stabbed himself. 

"Apparently he stabbed himself twice in the abdomen with a pocket knife," Northfield Police Chief John Zolgus told News 5. 

It all started when the car was called in as suspicious at a Northfield apartment complex just before 11 p.m. Tuesday. 

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Officers tried to pull the car over, but the driver wouldn't stop, so police followed.

"The traffic was pretty much nonexistent that time of night," Chief Zolgus explained. 

He said they were able to talk directly to departments in others cities - Aurora, Twinsburg, Summit County Sheriff's Department and a couple of other agencies - and they continued the chase within protocol.

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"If speeds get too high, even if there's no traffic, a pursuit can be terminated just on that account alone," Zolgus explained. 

According to the chief, departments used spike strips, blocked intersections and did everything they could to stop the car, but the driver kept going - even with one of his tires destroyed. 

"His speeds really decreased once his tire went flat."

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The driver damaged at least two police cars before officers and deputies were finally able to block him in. 

They stopped at Royalton Rd. near Broadview Rd. in Broadview Heights. 

"He refused to exit the vehicle," Zolgus said. 

More than two hours of negotiations followed. Police say the man threatened to hurt himself and stabbed himself in the stomach at least once.

Officers and negotiators finally convinced him to get out, and he was flown to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

"I don't know who that officer was doing the negotiations, but he did a fine job," the chief said. 

Zolgus said the late night into early morning incident was an example of good teamwork between departments, bringing the man in before any one else was hurt. 

"If he would have continued driving the way he was, would he have hit someone? Even if we weren't behind him. Would someone else have gotten hurt? It was a good ending."

The driver is still recovering, but police have not released his name or his condition. 

It's unclear what charges he will face, but they will come from departments in several cities. 

Police believe drugs were involved, but that is still being investigated.

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