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Who doesn’t love high speed car chases? Admit it, when whatever daytime television program you’re watching is interrupted by local news reporting some criminal eluding authorities down the interstate, you don’t exactly look away. Crazy things always seem to happen on live television – and police chases are no exception. There’s an element of danger to high speed chases – which are almost always caught on video – that is uniquely fascinating: you know it’s going to end badly, it’s just question of how violent and destructive it’s going to get.

This list explores some of the craziest, most wild police pursuits caught on tape. From escaped mental patients, to magicians, to nudists, it turns out all sorts of people are the type to run from Johnny Law when in a pinch. Let’s take a look at some of the most unhinged and entertaining high speed chases.

 

O.J. And The White Bronco
Video: YouTube

In June of 1994, O.J. Simpson and his accomplice Al Cowlings led the Los Angeles Police Department on what is maybe the most famous car chase of all time. Simpson was planning to turn himself into authorities after being charged with the murder of his ex-wife, but he had a change of heart and decided to make a break for Mexico. As he and Cowlings fled in the now infamous white Ford Bronco, authorities were tipped off, and what followed was a chase across several LA freeways in a sensational event broadcast live all over the world.

Luckily, no one was hurt and the chase came to peaceful resolution at Simpsons’s home in Brentwood, CA, where he (reluctantly) turned himself into authorities.

BMW Eludes Police At 150 MPH
Video: YouTube

In February 1998, a Shawnee County, KS, teen led authorities on an insane high speed pursuit that regularly got up to speeds of 150 mph. The 15-year-old – who smoothly maneuvered in and out of oncoming traffic like a Formula One driver – barreled away from police officers in a 240 horsepower BMW. Officers in pursuit, however, also had high-speed vehicles – cruisers with Corvette engines, a fortuitous break – and were able to keep up with the teen as he dodged spike strips, and almost forced to squad cars into a head-on collision.

Unfortunately for this young thief, the engine on the stolen German vehicles eventually crapped out and authorities were able to make an arrest.

Teenage Car Thief Crashes Into Pond, Attempts To Swim Away
Video: YouTube

In 2001, a teenage car thief took off from an electronics store in Indianapolis, IN and led authorities on a high speed chase through a quiet, residential neighborhood. In an attempt to avoid spike strips, the young bandit loses control of the vehicle while careening at dangerous speeds, and after hitting a patch of green grass, the driver finds himself crashed into a retention pond.

Not willing to admit defeat and surrender, this driver attempts an even more slippery getaway and begins to swim away from police on the scene. Michael Phelps, he is not, however, and he is quickly apprehended.

Man Downgrades Stolen Cars, Is Quickly Caught
Video: YouTube

In September 2011, a 23-year-old man took Queensland, Australia authorities on a wild ride when he stole a bright yellow Porsche and bolted down the M1. A fugitive thought to be connected to several burglaries, the young man had been doing well at outpacing the cops in his newly acquired sports car – until he hit a guardrail, screwed up one of his front tires, and had to change vehicles.

In a pinch, the car thief had to settle for the inferior Nissan Navara as his next ride. This modest Japanese vehicle’s lack of horsepower eventually led to the cops tracking him down, where he finally surrendered but not without a fight.

Mentally Unstable Trucker Attempts Suicide By Cop
Video: YouTube

An 18-wheeler on the run represents a unique challenge for police officers. Such a massive vehicle requires a coordinated effort to corral, and as seen in the video above taken in Moab, UT, it is no easy task – especially when the driver is unstable.

A fleet of police cars attempt stop the mentally anguished man in 2002, who makes it clear he’d rather die than be taken alive. Police officers attempt to shoot out the truck’s air lines and incapacitate the vehicle to no avail before the driver ultimately loses control and smashes into an off-road fence. Though the disturbed man makes a request for suicide-by-cop, he is eventually taken peacefully to a nearby hospital.

A High Speed Chase Turned Into A Deadly Situation
Video: YouTube

Hong Il Kim took off in his Toyota 4-Runner on Valentine’s Day 1996, and began recklessly driving through Orange County, CA, cutting off motorists and running through red lights. When a suspicious police officer attempted to pull Kim over, he led authorities on a 30-mile high speed chase that soon drew the attention of local news cameras. Once Kim was finally cornered in a strip mall parking lot, he began revving his engine and ramming his car into police cruisers. He was greeted with a hale of bullets, which killed him on live television. The shooting went down as a controversial judgment call, and though Kim’s family brought a wrongful death suit against authorities, their claim was ultimately unsuccessful.

Insane Texas Biker Chase Goes Through Six Cities
Video: YouTube

In some ways, a motorcycle is an ideal vessel for eluding authorities – it’s compact, agile nature allows one to dart in and out of traffic with ease, and slip through narrow corridors that would prove impenetrable for a full-size car. In the above video, a Texas biker used all the strengths of his bike to evade authorities in an insanely long chase that went through six different cities, finally ending at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. At certain points of the pursuit, the bike hit speeds of 100 MPH, and at one point he nearly bumped an officer giving chase on his own motorcycle. Give this guy some credit, it’s a pretty well-executed getaway attempt.

Man Gets Stopped, Steals Police Car
Video: YouTube

In August 2001, a cornered Denton, TX, man tried to elude police in a rather unconventional way. As the video above shows, authorities stopped the man in question in a drug store parking lot, and for whatever reason they left their cruiser unattended. The man took that opportunity to hop in and steal the cruiser. This is a pretty tough maneuver to execute successfully, and this bold car thief didn’t end up making it too far, with police catching up to him shortly thereafter. Points for thinking outside the box, though.

A Junkie Hijacks A City Bus In San Diego
Video: YouTube

In August 1997, some San Diego bus commuters got the ride of their lives when a deranged junkie commandeered the massive vehicle by putting a knife to the driver’s throat. The unstable man kept authorities at bay for over two hours, covering 70 miles of ground in the process. In an almost cinematic hostage situation, the unstable hijacker threatened to kill everyone on board as he erratically terrorized the southern California city. The bus finally came to a stop after running over a spike strip, and authorities were able to arrest the heavyset, disheveled man. Fortunately, no passengers were harmed during this drug-addled joyride.

 

Naked Woman Goes On SUV Joyride
Video: YouTube

In Baytown, TX, police officers got a unique show when they pulled up next to a speeding SUV. Peering into the window to get a look at the driver, officers were surprised to see that: the driver was a woman, and, in the parlance of the lone star lawman heard on the video above, “she’s naked as a jaybird.”

As the pursuit continued, the exhibitionist driver’s maneuvers became more erratic, and an off-duty officer joined chase in his pick-up truck. She eventually got caught on a two-lane road, and her freedom ride came to an end.

Grand Theft Dump Truck
Video: YouTube

Teenagers are nothing but resourceful when it comes to ways to cause incredibly irritating mischief. In the above video, a 17-year-old boy marauded around in a stolen dump truck through his town of Stow, OH, terrorizing his neighborhood as only a rowdy teen can – running into garbage cans, cars, and mailboxes. Eventually, authorities conceded the only way to stop the boy was to let him tire himself out. He eventually crashed and rendered the vehicle unusable. Boredom is a dangerous thing.

Escaped Mental Patient Takes Police On Wild Ride
Video: YouTube

One surefire way to make a high speed car chase even more riveting? Throw in an escaped mental patient as the getaway driver. That’s exactly what went down in the above video as Australian authorities tried to wrangle a once-institutionalized escapee. The man led the cops on a wild chase, hopping over dividers, freely driving into oncoming traffic, and evading several attempts by officers to box him in. Eventually, however, a bus swiped the man’s vehicle and he was apprehended after a foot pursuit. While he was likely sent back to the mental hospital, he probably had one hell of a story for group therapy that week.

Limo Driver Attemps Luxurious Getaway
Video: YouTube

In a high speed pursuit that can only be described as luxurious, this limo driver took authorities on a memorable journey through Westchester, NY, in April of 2006, as he eluded their capture in a stretch limousine. While it may seem like a less than ideal vehicle for a high speed getaway, this limo reached speeds of 120 MPH in the above video, giving the pursuing police cruisers all they can handle as it wove in out of the highway lanes, racking up nearly 30 traffic offenses in the process.

Not designed for such driving, the engine eventually gave out, and after an attempt to flee in reverse for a while this renegade chauffeur finally gave up too.

 

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