Witnesses help troopers ID chase suspect in Tempe

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Jim Hunt) (Source: Jim Hunt)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A police chase that started in far west Buckeye ended in Tempe right by Arizona State University with a lot of people looking on. 

[RAW VIDEO: Witnesses interact with suspect]

The chase ended when the suspect Mitchell Taebel crashed his speeding SUV into an on-coming vehicle on Rural Road and Spence Avenue right near ASU.

[READ MORE: Wild chase along Valley freeways ends in violent crash in Tempe]

“I always hear cars whizzing down the street, but this time it was a little bit different because windows and everything kind of started vibrating. So, as soon as I turned to look out the window I see the suspects SUV just flipping like down the street. I mean it was like barrel rolling like three or four maybe five times,” said Darren Bowens who works in an office on Rural Road.

[SLIDESHOW: DPS pursuit ends in violent crash in Tempe]

There was a survey team very close by on the sidewalk on the east side of Rural Road. Taebel’s flipping SUV came within feet of those workers. 

“When I heard it, I turn around. I look it was about ah … I don’t know, it started sliding towards the sidewalk. I took off running. It took me about 10 minutes until I quit shaking. But, yeah, it was pretty intense,” said one of the workers who did not want to share his name. 

[WATCH: Raw video of entire chase that ended in crash]

Witnesses were stunned when seconds after Taebel’s vehicle came to a stop, he crawled out of the shattered front passenger window and was walking around with apparently no injuries. 

“He started walking away. I turned my camera on and I’m watching him. And he walks a little bit puts his shoe back on and then turned around and walked over to us and talked about the cops being crazy and do you know who I am,” said witness Jim Hunt. 

[NEWS BRIEFING: DPS holds news briefing about Wednesday's pursuit]

Within a few seconds witnesses say officers swarmed the area, jumped out of the cars with guns drawn and surrounded the mangled SUV. 

“He’s (suspect) standing 15 feet away from it. And we said, 'hey, no it’s this guy right here.' So they turned around and tackled him in our planter right here in front,” said Hunt. 

[RAW VIDEO OF START OF CHASE: DPS begins chasing suspect on Valley freeways]

Officers took Taebel into custody and transported him to the hospital to get checked out before booking him into jail. 

“It’s really scary and I’m just grateful that nobody really seriously got injured, other than what happened. Hopefully, everything is just OK,” said Bowens. 

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