A soldier on leave led police on a wild and dangerous pursuit on Friday night near Ashdod, after evading a checkpoint set up to test motorists for alcohol.
According to police, the soldier swerved wildly after noticing the checkpoint, and “almost struck a female officer, who was forced to jump out of the path of the vehicle.”
Patrol cars gave chase, and observed the soldier “carrying out many traffic offenses in his attempt to escape, including running a red light and driving in zigzags, while endangering lives.”
Ashdod Traffic Police attempted to stop the driver but failed in their efforts, and two officers were almost run down, police said.
The pursuit continued until the driver pulled over near Moshav Sde Uziyahu, near Ashdod, where the driver was met by three friends, ditched his vehicle, and escaped on foot.
Police located the suspect’s abandoned car in a thornfield, and launched a ground search of the area.
The soldier was identified running through the field in the darkness. Officers lost the suspect during a chase although his cellphone was recovered from the scene.
Three friends of the suspect were located on the scene and arrested on suspicion of attempting to aid his escape.
On Saturday evening, the soldier turned himself in.
Police say they intend to indict all four suspects on charges of endangering lives on the roads.
The driver, who has no criminal record, “did not provide an explanation for his wild conduct,” police said.
“Attempting to escape from an alcohol test shows that the suspect had
something to hide. His dangerous driving could have led to far worse
results and injuries. All suspects will be prosecuted to the full
extent of the law,” Ashdod station head Dep.-Cmdr. Gabi Dadon said.