Sometimes you can want to help a little too much.
Rachelle Fernandez (seen in this video in the white pickup truck on the right) is accused of interjecting herself into a live high-speed police chase and attempting to PIT maneuver the fleeing vehicle.
“I’ve got a white Toyota getting in the way and interfering here. I don’t know what he’s doing. He’s trying to PIT the car,” you can hear the cop saying over the radio as Fernandez moves on from passing the cops and goes after the suspect herself.
The PIT maneuver would have spun out suspect’s car, but Fernandez didn’t successfully pull off the trick, and just shoved the suspect’s vehicle (it’s the one shooting sparks on the left) into oncoming traffic.
If you are wondering how this chase started in the first place, the suspect’s vehicle was a stolen Nissan Frontier, KUTV Salt Lake City reports, which was driving with its headlights out and weaving into oncoming traffic. That got the chase started, and a set of spike strips blew out the tires. That explains the sparks. The cops did eventually get the guy stopped and arrested.
Fernandez, who was wearing a Polish death metal band Behemoth hoodie, quickly became the subject of police attention herself. After her failed PIT maneuver, she came to a stop, at which point West Valley City Police in Utah arrested her. The cops charged her with interfering with an arresting officer and failing to stop for an emergency vehicle, both misdemeanors.
While this bizarre interjected chase happened on November 15th, police released the above bodycam video yesterday in an attempt to justify their arrest of this extremely gung-ho citizen, as local KSL News reports.
The cops issued a statement denouncing Fernandez and asking people not to try this themselves. They said she “has publicly cited her interest in helping officers as the reason for interceding in a police pursuit. She has publicly cited her military background as the impetus which compelled her to intervene. These statements do not coincide with the statement that Fernandez gave to officers immediately following the incident, at which time she told police that she saw the pursuit and ‘blacked out’.”
A police spokesperson clarified that while they “encourage citizens to become more aware of the goings-on within their communities,” they “discourage our citizens from taking action that places themselves or others at risk of serious injury or death.”
Mugshot via Salt Lake County Jail. Ms. Fernandez’ arraignment is scheduled for December 7th.
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