Officers explain police pursuit policies and procedures

Police discuss pursuit procedures

FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11) --  An accused felon is in custody and off the streets.

“Once you get that person in custody then you know after that point that everyone is safe and the public is safe and that no one can be harmed by this person anymore,” said Sgt. Jerry Goodin, Indiana State Police.

But Sky11 video shows the dangerous moments that led up to the arrest of Robert Ellis II as he led police on a high-speed chase, narrowly missing other drivers along the way.

“It's easy to sit here and say that this is what you do every single time but unfortunately life doesn't give us those training scenarios,” Sgt. Goodin said.

Police say they chased Ellis for 40 minutes.  He is accused of snatching purses out of front seats while women pumped gas at a number of Louisville gas stations. 

“We felt like the apprehension of this felon needed to happen and at this point in time apprehending him wasn’t causing any risk,” Sgt. Goodin said.

Indiana State Troopers assisted Louisville Metro Police once Ellis crossed the river into Indiana.  Each agency says they have different policies when it comes to police pursuits and they'll be investigating to determine if the proper procedures were followed, but retired LMPD officer Richard Pearson says it went by the book.

“Did anybody get hurt?  No.  Did he get apprehended?  Yes.  Sounds good to me,” Pearson said.

Sky11 caught the moments as an unmarked police car rammed into Ellis.  Police swarmed him with guns drawn bringing him to the ground.

“Force is going to be used.  That's just a hallmark of police work.  It is going to happen,” Pearson said.

Pearson says with their suspected purse snatcher in jail, the community will be a bit safer.

Ellis is currently being held in Floyd County Jail.  He will eventually be taken back to Louisville where he will face more charges.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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