On Wednesday, February 7, a dramatic scene unfolded as police engaged in a high-speed pursuit involving a U-Haul GMC Savana, traveling from Locust Grove, Oklahoma, to Tontitown, Arkansas. The pursuit, reaching speeds over 120 mph, culminated in the apprehension of two Michigan natives, Cory Robert Mercier and Trenton Johnson, who were found in possession of firearms and Molotov cocktails.
Tontitown police detailed the gripping pursuit, highlighting the deployment of a “tactical vehicle intervention” (TVI) maneuver by one officer, which successfully halted the van by spinning it into a highway barrier. Although the executing officer sustained minor injuries after rolling several times, they were promptly treated and released from a nearby hospital. Additionally, while several police cars incurred damage during the chase and subsequent arrest, no other officers were harmed.
Reports indicated that the fleeing van collided head-on with another vehicle in Oklahoma; however, it remains unspecified whether anyone in the other vehicle sustained injuries. Detective Keith Lindley emphasized the paramount importance of preserving life in such scenarios, likening a fleeing car to a loaded gun aimed at a crowd.
Mercier and Johnson, currently held at Benton County jail, face an array of charges, including possession of destructive devices, aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, and felony fleeing. Notably, both individuals were already wanted by Westland, Michigan, police for previous offenses, including attempting to run over officers. Their court appearance is scheduled for March 18.
Reflecting on the inherent dangers of high-speed chases, authorities underscored the dangerous nature of such pursuits, particularly when involving cargo vans and multiple police vehicles at speeds exceeding 120 mph. Despite the potential for disaster, the chase concluded without any significant injuries, underscoring law enforcement personnel’s swift and effective response.