RIVERSIDE – A Chicago man drove through five consecutive red traffic lights as an on-duty Riverside police officer pursued him Thursday, police said, starting at the intersection of Harlem and Burlington avenues.
At 2:25 a.m., Michael Velazquez, 21, drove his 2000 Hyundai passenger car past the fully marked Riverside police car and then went through red traffic lights at Harlem and Burlington avenues, Harlem and Stanley, Harlem and Windsor, Harlem and East Quincy and Harlem and 34th Street, according to a news release from the Riverside Police Department.
The officer attempted to stop the vehicle south of the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks, but the driver then fled to an address in the 300 block of Olmsted Road, police said.
The officer then conducted a traffic stop in a private driveway, and as the driver exited his vehicle, he attempted to go into the home at which the car was parked, police said. It was later learned that this was not the driver's home, but was a friend's, according to the release.
Officers were able to detain Velazquez before he was able to get in the home. When asked to produce his driver's license, he told the officer he didn't have one because, “You people took it for a previous offense,” according to the release.
According to police, Velazquez was “very uncooperative,” and when officers went to take him into custody for driving under the influence of alcohol he began to fight with police officers. Officers had to physically restrain him and him to the ground in order to take him into custody, according to the release.
Velazquez, of the 1600 block of West Wilson Avenue in Chicago, was charged with DUI alcohol, five counts of disobeying a traffic control device and other traffic violations.