Southfield police chief defends taser, punches seen in video

Southfield police chief defends taser, punches seen in car chase video

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Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins
(WJBK) -

The Southfield police chief is commending the work of his officers during the takedown of a driver that is accused of having lead police on a chase through the snowy streets of metro Detroit on Wednesday.

The chase began when officers tried to pull the driver over for erratic driving. Chief Eric Hawkins says at one point during the chase the suspect was driving right towards them.

"[He] drove directly at the officers, and one of the officers at that point was on foot, and it appeared the guy tried to run the officer over," Hawkins says.

The chase finally ended near Woodward Avenue and the Davison Freeway when the suspect vehicle crashed into an uninvolved vehicle. The suspect then got out of the vehicle and tried to make a run for it, but was apprehended by police shortly down the road.

Officers are then seen on video from SkyFOX using a stun gun on the suspect and punching him. Hawkins says the actions are justified.

"Even after the person went down he still refused to comply with the officers. So the officers had to use the appropriate amount of force in order to get compliance," says Hawkins. He describes the suspect as a "very dangerous individual that needed to be taken off the streets."

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more from the police chief in a report from FOX 2's Amy Lange

Police say the suspect has a violent history of unarmed robbery, felonious assault and numerous drug charges. His driver's license is suspended and it's alleged he fled from officers in another local community just two weeks ago. He also is a known heroin addict.

Police say his 44-year-old wife and 23-year-old son, all from Farmington Hills, were in the car at the time of the chase. They were released at the scene after the investigation was completed. The wife has a warrant out of Pennsylvania for dangerous drugs, and fleeing and eluding, but was not arrested because police say the Pennsylvania county would not extradite her.

ALSO SEE: Source: Family involved in chase under the influence of heroin

The suspect is expected to be charged with fleeing and eluding arrest, and driving with a suspended license on Friday.

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