ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) --- The man wrongly arrested following a bi-state police chase Friday said the whole thing could have been avoided if police had asked some basic questions.
Police were pursuing a gray SUV that had been reported stolen. The pursuit began around 6:15 a.m. near the Eads Bridge in Illinois. Police said the SUV was stolen from a driveway of a Belleville home. The owner of the car was warming it up.
Just before 7 a.m., the SUV crashed into a dumpster in an alley near Lee and Newstead. Powerhouse Skyzoom4 spotted the driver getting out of the SUV and run, but the view was obscured. Moments later, Skyzoom4 noticed a man, Terrell Beasley, walk from the alley and get into a white van that was already running.
Beasley was trying to go to work, but his boss warned him to stay at home because the chase was taking place nearby.
"So, I told him, I said, 'Stay in the house because he just jumped on the alley right behind your house," said Beasley's boss, Holly Jackson-Gillespie, who owns Jazz Transport.
For safety reasons, police had stopped chasing but continued to watch from Powerhouse Skyzoom4.
A few minutes later, officers pulled over that white van and took Beasley into custody. Officers said they arrested him based on the helicopter video.
”I get down to the police station, ask to speak to a superior, the superior tells me they have overwhelming evidence," Beasley said.
He said he tried to explain to police why they had the wrong man.
“Are you going to use any of your police logic to put this story together that this man just came out of his home?” said Beasley.
Beasley said he was in his backyard because he heard the stolen car and that police could have verified he lived there. On the video, he’s in no hurry to get in his van and leave.
"They treated me like I was a known criminal when the only thing I'm known for is going to work every morning," he said.
He spent two hours in jail before being released. Police are apologizing.
Beasley said the ordeal left him with a bad opinion about police officers.