Suspect leads police on pursuit through Phoenix city streets

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A man led Phoenix Police on a 40-minute pursuit through city streets Wednesday afternoon, which ended peacefully in a school parking lot.

Officers say they pulled 35-year-old Noel Acosta over in a routine traffic stop near 27th Avenue and Buckeye around 4:00pm.   They say Acosta tried to back his car into the officer as he approached the vehicle, and then sped off.

The chase never made it to the freeway system, and Acosta obeyed all signals and avoided weaving in and out of traffic.

Police believe he tossed a bag of drugs out the window at one point.  

To keep from escalating the chase, police patrol cars backed off, while their helicopter followed Acosta as he traveled into North Phoenix.

"We prefer this method of an air unit directing us from above. It can let us know where a suspect is, and is much safer for the community at large," Sgt. Steve Martos told 3TV.

Through much of the chase, Acosta was on the phone with his family members. Police ran his license plate number, found his family's home, and showed up at their door. They got on the phone with the suspect, and negotiated a surrender.

Acosta pulled into Shaw Butte Elementary School on Cactus Road, near 21st Avenue, and emerged with his hands above his head.

A series of unmarked police cars, officers with weapons drawn, and a K9 unit surrounded him.

Martos says Acosta faces assault and drug charges, and was on parole for another crime.