By on June 3, 2016

Source: Emily Monacelli Mlive.com

In the made-for-TV movie Duel, a somewhat legendary film for car enthusiasts, Steven Spielberg and Richard Matheson tapped into drivers’ primal fear of being harassed by a malevolent trucker at the wheel of a semi much larger than their own vehicles.

Drivers in Indiana and Michigan experienced a non-fiction form of that fear last week, when a possibly drugged truck driver sideswiped cars as he drove erratically for almost 50 miles before police shot out one of the truck’s driving tires. The driver then punched a police dog and it took a number of officers to corral and restrain him even after he was tasered.

Around 8:30 p.m. last Thursday, May 26, Indiana State Police started receiving cellphone calls from drivers on eastbound Interstate 94 near Portage, Indiana. The drivers all reported a metal-hauling semi hitting construction barrels and sideswiping cars.

By the time Michigan State Police managed to stop him, the driver of the truck had traveled 48 miles from the time of the first reports. That highway is the main route between Chicago and Detroit and at that time of the evening, traffic is still pretty heavy as drivers sweep around the southern tip of Lake Michigan. It was fortunate that nobody was injured in the incident, according to Mlive.com.

Troopers seized what they suspect were narcotics from the driver, a California man driving for the Tokay Line of Lodi who hasn’t identified. After being taken into custody, he was transported to a St. Joseph, Michigan hospital where he suffered what Patrick Boyd, assistant district commander at the Michigan State Police Paw Paw post, described as a “serious” medical condition. Boyd said, “Based on his behavior we suspected that he may have been under the influence,” but it’s not clear if the medical condition or his erratic driving was related to drug use.

After reports came in to the Indiana State Police, the ISP located the semi about 35 miles west of the Michigan state line and started their pursuit. The ISP also notified their colleagues in Michigan, who in turn notified local police along the route to get construction workers off of the road.

Michigan State Police deployed two “stop sticks” in their attempt to halt the truck. Shawn Martin, police chief of Baroda Lake Township, was in the process of deploying a third when the officer had to dive over a cable barrier when the truck headed straight for him.

During the incident a number of MSP patrol vehicles were forced off the road. The agency said that in a construction zone between Bridgman and Stevensville, the 18 wheeler hit a number of vehicles and construction barrels and swerved at police cars while driving through a closed third lane.

At some point, the right front tire of the truck was shredded, I’m guessing by the stop sticks. A couple of miles beyond where it almost hit Chief Martin, one of the truck’s left side drive wheels was shot out by a MSP trooper firing his rifle from the passenger seat of a chasing police car. The truck slowed down and attempted to exit the Interstate. It jackknifed near the top of the ramp and came to a halt, about 48 miles from the location of the first reports, near Michigan City, Indiana.

The driver refused to exit the stopped vehicle, so a police dog from the Berrien County sheriff’s department was sent into the truck cab. The K9 tried to clamp its jaws on the driver, who punched it hard enough to send it falling out of the truck, forcing officers to taser him. Despite the shock, he continued his struggle with the officers. Baroda-Lake Township police officer John Hopkins, whose dashcam recorded the chase, said it took four or five officers to get him out of the truck, restrained and handcuffed.

The driver hasn’t yet been charged with any crimes but police expect him to be arraigned on multiple felony charges once he is discharged from the hospital sometime this week.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view over at Cars In Depth. – Thanks for reading – RJS

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53 Comments on “Truck Careens Through Two States Before Cops Shoot Out Tire; Tased Driver Puts Up a Fight...”


  • avatar

    #1 All Tasers should have an HD video camera and Their own LTE connection to the Internet.

    #2 The Taser should begin recording when drawn and automatically upload to Youtube when fired (deployed)

    #3 All cops should have Tasers. School Safety should have them too. In fact – all Guards at Malls should too.

    Basically, everyone responsible for safety in areas with people who don’t know how to act should have LTE TASERS.

    The Youtube Account: “DONTTASEMEBROWORLDWIDE” would generate so many views/ clicks and likes that it would easily earn a Billion subscribers and hundreds of millions of views per day.

    The money could be used to close entire budget deficits – hell – maybe even stop America from falling deeper into National debt.

    #4 All violent riots and rallies (read: Sander’s fanatics coming to Trump rallies to start problems) can easily be put down by the Air Force’s Active Denial System Microwave emitter (aka PAIN BEAM)

    #5 The ADS should have an HD camera and auto upload to Youtube.

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      Is it a good idea to put the camera and radio electronics that close to the high voltage electronics needed for a tazer?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1 on the Pain Beam.

      • 0 avatar

        Imagine unleashing the Pain Beam to protect a Trump Rally.

        Imagine a Sander’s supporter trying to “fight it” and attempting to rush it only to get lit up like a match.

        • 0 avatar
          01 Deville

          Imagine Trump showing his true colors once elected and right wingers getting the pain beam during their demos against a president they elected. Or Hillary being president and using silencing tactics you are savoring.

          I am no Sanders supporter but think of yourself on receiving end before wishing something upon somebody else. This is America, not Saddam’s Iraq for heaven’s sake.

          • 0 avatar

            I can’t be on the receiving end because I stay at home and watch on my 80″ Vizio 1080p.

            I don’t go to rallies because in general there are too many stupid people causing problems.

            This is the reason we have tasers and microwave emitters in the first place.

            Hillary is going to lose.

            To be perfectly honest, I can sleep well at night regardless who wins between Trump and Hillary…just so long as that communist Sanders campaign is obliterated.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I think if we put a Tesla battery pack up into Trump he could protect himself by hitting innocent people with lightning.
            Even if it doesn’t work it’s worth a try.

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            I can’t really understand the point or purpose of casually mentioning that you have an 80″ Vizio. So what says the crowd.

          • 0 avatar

            When someone gets tazed, you can see their tears in crisp 1080p at 120Hz.

            Eventually that’ll be 4K tears.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The enthusiasm Trump supporters show for the torture and annihilation of their enemies is remarkable.

          • 0 avatar

            VoGo

            Don’t judge all Trump supporters by me.

            I’m sure many of them are nice people.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Maybe some water cannons would be cool too, eh, BTSR?

          How soon some people forget…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_to_Montgomery_marches

          (Somewhere in Hell, Bull Connor is nodding his head, and saying, “Yep, I won.”)

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Didn’t for get , is a child who doesn’t care .

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Yep. And pretty amazing from a black guy too. It’d be like a Jew saying Muslims need to wear an armband to identify them.

          • 0 avatar

            “It’d be like a Jew saying Muslims need to wear an armband to identify them.”

            Considering that it was Muslims who first made Jews (and Christians) wear distinctive clothing to label them as out-group others, that might be considered a case of turnabout being fair play.

            European Christians picked up the yellow star thing from Muslim treatment of religious minorities, just as Catholics in Spain learned how to run the Inquisition from Muslim heresy hunters when Islam had hegemony over the Iberian peninsula.

        • 0 avatar
          Dynasty

          These organized protests are probably being orchestrated by Crooked Hillary and her band of goons.

          Otherwise I agree. Trump needs the Pain Beam.

        • 0 avatar

          BTSR, I’m a Sanders supporter. I went to the Trump rally in Worcester, Mass last fall, not to protest or cause trouble, but to see Trump speak, and to talk to (not argue with) Trump supporters (mostly afterwards, at a bar) and find out how they felt about issues. I got along fine with them and they seemed like decent people. I’m disgusted with the protesters who caused trouble at the recent Trump rally (especially the ones who went after that young woman), as much as with the Trump supporters who have roughed people up gratuitously.

          But don’t judge any candidate’s supporters by a few trouble makers at a rally.

          (That said, based on the Trump U scandal, I think Trump himself is despicable. The U’s business plan was to go after vulnerable people who couldn’t possibly afford to pay 35k, and tell them to max out their credit cards to pay it.

          • 0 avatar

            David, I don’t think one can equate the distasteful actions of what have been a handful of Trump supporters roughing up protesters disrupting his rallies with the actions of those who have attacked Trump supporters on their way to or from his rallies.

            In the former case, while the violence may or may not have been criminal, those were private events and the protesters had no right to interrupt. In the latter case, besides the criminality of some of the assaults, there has been an attempt to deny Trump supporters’ their constitutional right to assemble.

            If the shoe was on the other political foot, do you think Loretta Lynch’s DoJ wouldn’t be looking into the matter?

            Similarly, campus crybullies have no right to prevent people from going to hear Ben Shapiro or Milo Yianopollis from speaking on campus.

            Hopefully, one of these days, someone concerned with liberty that has deep enough pockets will fund, a la Peter Thiel’s funding of Hogan v. Gawker, a civil RICO lawsuit against the individuals and groups who violate others’ civil rights.

            Not that I expect someone waving a Mexican flag at an anti-Trump rally to be a scholar of American political history, but if one looks at the leftist rioting during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and how Abby Hoffman and the rest of the Chicago 7 ended up helping to elect Richard Nixon in a landslide, if you don’t want Donald Trump elected, I wouldn’t be waving Mexican flags or wearing Make California Mexico Again t-shirts at anti-Trump rallies if I were you.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    “Troopers seized what they suspect were narcotics from the driver”

    Say it ain’t so!

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    He would have made it if he’d had a black Trans Am running blocker, and a basset hound as a co-driver. Eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin’…

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Meth is a hell of a drug.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    “After being taken into custody, he was transported to a St. Joseph, Michigan hospital where he suffered what Patrick Boyd, assistant district commander at the Michigan State Police Paw Paw post, described as a “serious” medical condition.”

    So he was taken to the hospital prior to suffering a serious medical condition? Was that medical condition the result of a tune up he received once in custody? Did they actually administer the beat-down at the hospital, so that he might receive immediate medical care after the officers worked through their issues about how helpless they felt trying to stop a big truck? Somebody ought to check on the well-being of the K-9 officer’s girlfriend. It might take some drastic externalizing of his feelings of inadequacy after seeing his dog slapped aside for him to get his game-face back.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Please… your lithium.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      He was wacked-out on drugs and had been tased. Why wouldn’t they take him to the hospital?

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Did you see him walking in cuffs after his arrest? He looked fine.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          He’s a 30/40-ish black guy (hypertension), a good 80 lbs. overweight, abusing something that has him aggressive to the very end, has been tased and most of his forward propulsion comes from the two cops supporting him.

          That’s “fine”? Would you like to have his vitals at that moment and see how long you could live with them undoctored?

          • 0 avatar

            And of course, if he hadn’t been taken to the hospital and had a heart attack in jail, it would be “why didn’t they get him medical attention?!?!”

    • 0 avatar

      Geez, I’m no fan of police officers but that was a bit intemperate. This was a genuine threat to public safety and since the medical condition arose at the hospital it sounds more like something heart related (or perhaps high blood pressure, noting the driver’s physical condition and ethnicity), not a beating.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Ronnie Schreiber – amphetamines and/or cocaine are hard on the heart. You taze someone on thos drugs and it increases the risk of putting the perpetrator into a lethal arrhythmia.

        High blood pressure doesn’t make you drive eratically unless you rupture an aneurism or have a stroke.

        You add to that an unhealthy person to begin with and that compounds the problem.

        I’ve heard of maybe six seroius MVC’s caused by “medical conditions” in my career.

        Drugs and alcohol?

        I’ve lost count decades ago.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    All hail the Trucker From Hell.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    As a young salesman in the early eighties, I learned the uneven hand of the law. I was driving with several clients on the I-90 expressway in heavy stopped traffic in Chicago, just approaching the loop.
    My car was suddenly hit hard from behind and I thought I was in an accident.
    I began to open the door to get out to see WTF happened when it happened again.
    Wham!
    The door almost broke my foot.
    I stayed inside looking stunned at m passengers, trying to understand.
    Wham!
    Again…and again…my car was smashed in the rear. The front seat even broke on the passenger side and was off the floor supports.

    A giant semi was smashing the rear.

    In a panic I struggled out of its way, forcing my car in front of others stopped n the traffic jam to the side of the expressway.

    Later, the trooper informed me another car took the number and they eventually tracked the truck…but could do nothing.

    Nothin?

    It seems he had so many licenses this idiot was somehow able to get away.
    I left it up to my company insurance…but nothing ever happened to this monster.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Wow, that’s scary.

      I was once nearly run into the center barrier by a semi at night in the rain. He decided to pass the same truck I was going to pass, except he didn’t see me right next to his driving wheels.

      As he came over, I slammed on the brakes as hard as I could – at 70 mph – and his trailer’s rear bumper lightly clipped my passenger mirror as I tried to avoid sideswiping the barrier.

      I was driving a minivan filled with 8 people, on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

      Recovering, we managed to get his numbers and company name. I called the State Police, and all I wanted was for him to be advised to be more careful. They said they couldn’t do anything unless there was an accident.

    • 0 avatar
      Testacles Megalos

      How is a motorized vehicle driven with malignant intent any different than taking random pot-shots with a pistol? Well, for one, there’s a hell of a lot more cars on the road and an almost equal number of inattentive drivers on the verge of being transmogrified into a road-raging monster.

      If he were firing a pistol in a shopping mall, not too many people would defend his right to a trial prior to punishment; he’d be shot on sight.

      48 miles of the big-rig equivalent; somebody should have aimed a little further forward on that truck.

      Now we have to provide health care for this cretin’s self-abuse compounded by any potential post-arrest tunings, pay for a trial, possibly pay for jail time. I’m sure there will be other lawsuits stemming from this (like, aimed at his employer) which will further suck productive dollars into the Black Hole of The ATLA. What wonderful uses of resources that could have supported schools, fire departments, and the arts.

      The other aspect of this episode is pointing out that we are way too liberal in handing out permits to drive. Way too many cars and trucks on old roads for a driver credentialling system dating back to an agrarian Murka.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        well…understand driving has become like the right to have children nd get healthcare.
        Very soon driving will be labeled as a requirement for work and life so just like healthcare insurance, car insurance companies will be forced to cover everybody regardless of past history and if not affordable, the gov will issue rebates and tax credits.
        Mark m friggin words…

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I imagine that after all of the large pile of claims is settled, the insurance company is going to be having a long and painful conversation with the trucking line. I wonder how many cars he managed to damage/destroy on this little jaunt?

    It is indeed a miracle nobody was killed in all this.

    • 0 avatar

      It looks like the “company” is probably just this guy – they show as having 1 truck, being in business for just over a year, and being located at a residential address:

      http://www.quicktransportsolutions.com/truckingcompany/california/tokay-line-usdot-2608820.php

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Glad no one was hurt. Could have proven tragic. Kudos to the boys in blue for stopping the 80,000 lb rig without causing a wreck or causing injury to any bystanders.

  • avatar
    bartonlong

    To anyone trying to stop a truck (or bus or whatever with a large diesel engine and modern engine management systems): SHOOT OUT THE RADIATOR not the tires. Once the engine starts overheating it will shut down until fully cool. This is a built in system to prevent damaging a very expensive engine, it works and it is way safer than shooting at a tough, spinning piece of rubber designed to support an 80,000 lb vehicle. Those tires are TOUGH, the radiators aren’t.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      On the other hand, it’s not like it will make a big difference to have yet one MORE tire carcass laying in the middle of the freeway… one more or five more.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m going to guess that the tires are an easier target since 1)there are 18 of them 2)they are exposed and 3) you don’t have to be in front or near the front of the truck to shoot them

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I remember when first they began adding that ” KYSOR ” system to the Big Rigs in our fleet , about 1982 IIRC .
    .
    Because they didn’t want the rig to die and block traffic , they included a 1/4″ chrome button you could depress and hold to by pass the system and allow the engine to run long enough to more it , build air pressure or whatever .
    .
    We never did find out who was the *one* guy who depressed the button and held it there whilst welding it depressed .
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    All that and not a crown Vic in sight.

  • avatar
    gmrn

    Nobody wants to be in his shoes, including the driver.
    He was driving the rig barefoot.
    Citation for sure.

  • avatar
    brn

    Holy carp! The popular media wants us to hate cops. They have to go from speaking at an elementary school to dealing with a situation like this in a professional an controlled manner. That takes range that most of us don’t have.

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