(KMOV) – Authorities continue to search for a suspect who led officers on a bi-state chase that had police cruisers swerving around downtown St. Louis traffic Tuesday afternoon.
According to Illinois State Police, officers attempted to stop a speeder by the Clinton and St. Clair County line but officers were forced to terminate the pursuit due to the high-speed risk.
Cahokia Police Chief James Jones said just moments before they took chase, the suspect, tried plowing into one of his officers as he laid out spike strips.
“Swerved and the officer was right there, we are lucky he wasn’t struck,” said Chief Jones.
Officers with ISP said the male suspect continued west until he was spotted by DuPo Police who then picked up the pursuit on Route 3 near Monsanto.
At least half dozen police cars chased the suspect down from Illinois onto Memorial Street near the Gateway Arch. A News 4 camera caught several officers as they raced down the sidewalks in order to avoid slamming into traffic during the pursuit.
“It is crazy seeing a police chase right in front of me,” said Spencer Holloman who saw a part of the chase Tuesday.
Illinois State Police officials say the suspect bailed from the vehicle by the Hotel Jefferson parking garage at 13th and St. Charles. The suspect then fled on foot into the Shell Building at 13th and Locust Avenue. Officers are actively searching for the man now.
“He gets out of his car, runs under the rope and runs that way, and we hear all the police sirens so we knew it was something bad,” Holloman said.
With so many people on the streets, the decision to chase him over the river and into downtown was made very carefully.
“We wanted to apprehend him to make sure our public is safe,” said Chief Jones.
Despite a thorough search after the crash, the suspect gave them the slip, but Chief Jones is confident he’ll soon be in custody.
Police say there was a passenger in that car who is in custody so they know exactly who the suspect is and where he lives.
Police describe the suspect as being a white male standing at five-foot-six and weighing about 155 lbs. He was seen wearing a dark hooded sweater and light grey or blue pants.