Thursday, April 28, 2016

Police credit SkyFox with tracking down high speed chase suspect

WALPOLE, Mass. —  Radio transmissions show how FOX25's helicopter helped police track the suspect involved in a high speed chase Wednesday. 

The chase began in Walpole on Washington Street near a dam by the Walpole Country Club, said police. Officer Matt Crown went to look at a car that was off a dirt road near the dam. Police said that when the officer went up to the car and asked for license and registration, the suspect then suddenly rolled up his windows, pinning Crown.

The suspect sped off, dragging the officer for about 100 yards at about 30 mph until he was able to free himself. This incident sparked the multi-town pursuit. 

SkyFox photographer Frank Egan had a bird's-eye view of the chase, and what he saw, didn't look good.

"That guy was driving like an animal. He was doing things with that little Toyota that I never thought was possible," said Egan. 

"As soon as we got on the chase, I was able to advise Frank, my photographer, and I guess as the saying goes, ‘The chase was on from there,’” said SkyFox pilot David Hyde

On the ground below, state and local police departments were in pursuit as well.

Suspected driver Michael Leblanc raced through Walpole, Norwood, Dedham and West Roxbury in an attempt to escape police.  At one point, he did, but he couldn't escape the watchful eye of the SkyFox team.  

Court documents said that officers had lost sight of the suspect's vehicle and "we...were about to end the pursuit when dispatch notified us that a FOX news helicopter had the vehicle in sight...With the help of the FOX helicopter, we were able to ascertain that the suspect vehicle was still traveling on 95 south, had struck a guard rail, and was spinning out of control."

Officers talking on the radio transmissions mentioned how FOX25's helicopter was still tracking the suspect's vehicle and that it was on T.V. 

"Using the helicopters as a reference point, we were eventually able to find the area where the suspect had jumped from the vehicle and began to flee on foot," said the documents. 


SkyFox captured the suspect crawling under a fence and approaching the apartment complex where he was eventually captured. 

Officers located Leblanc on the top floor of a nearby apartment building and arrested him. 

Walpole Police told FOX25 that the live feed from SkyFox, which was on-air and streaming in our app, helped officers follow the suspect, while keeping a safe distance.

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