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Durham police helicopter captures high-speed chase, arrest

A Durham regional police helicopter captured a vehicle attempting to flee police, reaching speeds of up to 173 km/h before officers made a dramatic arrest at a Scarborough gas station.

The footage was captured by the force’s Air1 helicopter, which began tracking a large group of vehicles and pedestrians that shut down the intersection of Altona Road and Finch Avenue in Pickering on Sunday, December 16 at around 2:40 a.m.

The chopper captures vehicles doing “donuts” — spinning their tires in a circular motion — while people stand around filming the action on their phones.

Soon, police arrive on scene and the crowd scatters. Two of the vehicles are seen fleeing northbound on Altona Road at high rates of speed.

“Police located and attempted to stop one vehicle but discontinued due to safety concerns,” police said in a release. “Air1 followed one of the vehicles described as a grey BMW towards Highway 401.”

The suspect vehicle is seen driving towards Toronto, at times turning his lights off on side roads.

“He’s turned off his lights,” the helicopter operator can be heard saying. “He’s driving in the dark here. I’ve got him at over 100 kilometers an hour in the dark.”

Eventually the vehicle pulls into a gas station in the area of Morningside Road and Sheppard Avenue in Scarborough. But thanks to information from the helicopter, cruisers are able to quickly track him down and move in for an arrest.

“Police cruisers boxed the vehicle in but the suspect vehicle rammed one of the vehicles in attempts to escape,” police said. “The driver and passengers were arrested. The vehicle was seized.”

Tony Chau, 24, is facing charges of fail to stop for police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, fail to comply with recognizance and race a motor vehicle.

The passengers in the vehicle were released without charge.