TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Nine months after a 60-mile DPS chase, Arizona’s Family finally received requested audio from the agency.
Mitchell Taebel, the driver who was arrested after the crash, is a so-called 'sovereign citizen,' so he spent his time on the phone with DPS negotiators talking about how they supposedly had no authority to pull him over.
Troopers say it was an illegal lane change that had them trying to stop Taebel. But as someone who doesn’t believe in government, Taebel just kept going. Negotiators called his phone while he was driving.
“Federal law says you have a right to resist unlawful arrest or stops, so there’s no probable cause, so I do not need to stop by law and I just want to clarify that there was no probable cause,” Taebel said in the call.
The trooper on the other end of the line encouraged him to stop so they could get everything worked out, but Taebel wasn’t having it.
“Is there any way you could just call them off?” he asked the trooper.
He told negotiators he had filed several court cases against state police, and that most of them had been dismissed. Four minutes later he hung up, and didn’t answer when troopers called back.
Then the chase ended when Taebel’s car went barreling into Alisha Lewis’.
“Then all of the sudden I saw the vehicle that was in front of me, they just sped out of the way, and I saw like a reddish, maroonish color SUV just slam directly into me,” she said in a recorded interview with detectives that day. “I looked down I was like ‘Oh my gosh’ and I noticed that I was bleeding and I don’t know if I passed out at that time.”
Another trooper on scene saw Taebel get out of his wrecked car, and get in a tangle with police.
“I did see the suspect driver, as one of the troopers began to reach out for him, pull away and push away from that trooper,” Trooper S. Harris said in another recording.
Lewis had a broken hand and foot. Taebel is still in the 4th Avenue jail in Phoenix. He’s had 9 competency hearings since his arrest and two more are scheduled for December.