One night last month, Westland police rushed to the scenes: SUV endlessly turning “donuts” in the middle of the intersection before the car caught fire and the driver refused to exit, police said.
Moments later, the SUV was on fire, and officers had to pull the struggling driver who saved his life, but also led to the arrest, said investigators, who Thursday released dashcam video of the incident.
The incident unfolded about 12:45 at night on June 21, near the Ford and the town of Vienna roads, where 43-year-old man blue Chevrolet Traverse circled in back of the airbag on the Windows.
Employees at first thought the driver, a resident of Livonia, was unconscious, but I noticed him smiling and holding the handlebars, police said.
The DVR footage showed the vehicle stops with smoke pouring from under the hood, the bright tongues of flame escaping.
The staff came over and told him to get out but the driver was heard telling them: “I won’t come out. … I go to the hospital.”
As the flames grew, the officers tried to take him out, but he fought back and “fired a razor blade knife and held it toward the officers who tried to assist him,” said a police officer.
Officers were heard ordering the man to drop the weapon. He eventually did, but locked his hands around the steering wheel, investigators said.
At least three officers then pulled the man from the SUV and on the ground, where they handcuffed him, according to the video footage.
The driver was heard asking firefighters, who then responded and gathered around the SUV. He was arrested on suspicion of under the influence of drugs and driving on a suspended license.
“After the driver was restrained by the officers spoke with him and determined that there was sufficient evidence to arrest him for operating a vehicle while under the influence of prohibited substances, and for driving on a suspended license,” police said Thursday.
The driver was taken to garden city hospital to be checked for injuries and released back to police.
After he was released from custody pending the blood test results, reported Thursday by the police. The man was not involved.
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