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Cops force crash in Vegas Strip chase

The suspect called 911 during the chase saying he wanted to kill himself and would shoot police if he had his guns

By Cristina Silva
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A 20-year-old man who called 911 to report that he was drunk led police in a bizarre car chase early Tuesday that ended when he crashed on the Las Vegas Strip.

Charles Pilette dialed 911 shortly before 1 a.m. to report that he needed a ride home, but when police arrived to help, he drove off in his 1999 Dodge Durango.

Pilette then roared from suburban Henderson toward downtown Las Vegas before veering onto the northern edge of the Las Vegas Strip, police spokeswoman Barbara Morgan said.

Officers set out spikes on the road to deflate the tires on Pilette's vehicle, but he continued undeterred, cruising down Las Vegas Boulevard with two flat tires, Morgan said.

"He was drunk, stupid," she said. "He was pretty committed."

As two police cars chased him and a police helicopter hovered above his vehicle, Pilette again dialed 911.

"He said he wanted to kill himself and would shoot police if he had his guns," Morgan said.

Police cars don't usually chase drunken drivers, but officers were worried that Pilette could hurt pedestrians on the bustling Strip.

As Pilette approached the Wynn resort and casino, a police vehicle slammed into the rear of his car, sending it into a spin. Officers crashed into the vehicle to force Pilette to a stop, Morgan said.

Pilette's vehicle stalled after it hit a light pole, but he continued to resist arrest and officers fired a round of bean bags at him, Morgan said. Pilette was taken to a Las Vegas hospital with minor injuries.

Morgan said police are waiting on toxicology reports.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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