OHP Defends Controversial End to High-Speed Chase
By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A controversial ending to a high-speed chase caught on tape has the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on the defensive.
The high-speed chase went on for at least half an hour reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The suspect, now identified as Christopher Harrell, spotted SkyNEWS 9 HD in the air following him.
Minutes later, Harrell turned around and went back in the direction of OHP troopers who lost track of him during the pursuit.
Once troopers pulled up, Harrell got down on the ground. Moments later, a trooper could be seen hitting him in the back. That is now the subject of an internal review. Tuesday morning OHP picked up a copy of the unedited SkyNEWS 9 HD video for review. After reviewing the video, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown gave an explanation for the incident.
"At this point, we don't know, the troopers on scene don't know, if this person is armed or not. They don't know if he has a weapon underneath his jacket," Brown said.
According to Brown, the trooper in the video had ordered Harrell to give them his arm at least three times so that he could be handcuffed. Harrell, Brown said, would not do it.
"At that point, the trooper does what he's trained to do which is a redirect strike. It takes the suspect by surprise. He immediately gives the arm up and he's taken into custody," Brown said.
Brown said both troopers involved in the incident will not face disciplinary action.
"The demeanor is calm. They've done a great job in calling this pursuit. Everything is textbook," Brown said.
Harrell is now in the Pottawatomie County jail on several complaints include felony eluding, felony running a road block and drug charges.
More on News9.com: High-Speed Chase, Arrest Prompts Review by OHP