Confused Tourists Trigger Highway Chase
Ellisha Rader Mannering
A family of Japanese tourists had a surprising and strange first night in the United States after they accidentally triggered a highway pursuit. Several officers were located along a Utah highway during a DUI operation and noticed a car that appeared to be swerving on the road. Utah Highway Patrol’s DUI unit commander Lt. Brad Horne turned on his lights and attempted to pull over the car.
Horne assumed the driver would cooperate, but little did he know, the woman driver had no idea what it meant to be pulled over and instead of doing so, she sped up and slowed down over and over again and continued to swerve on the highway. More police officers joined in the pursuit and eventually, the officers had to throw out spike strips to stop the car.
Once the car stopped, police surrounded the car with guns, preparing for a bad situation. Instead, they found a confused and scared Japanese family that did not speak English and could not understand the officers or their demands.
A Japanese speaking officer was eventually called to inform the family of what was happening and the officers learned that the driver did not know what it meant to be pulled over and was changing speeds and swerving so much because she was trying to get out of the way of the pursuing police cars.
“Red and blue lights are a pretty universal signal,” Horne said. “Regardless of nationality and language, when we put lights on, people pull over and stop.”
Although Horne and the other officers were shocked to find out that the entire pursuit was just a misunderstanding, they decided not to press charges on the driver.
Do you think the officers handled the situation right or should the driver have been charged?
Image via Wikimedia Commons