Police release dashcam footage of low-speed tractor chase
MENARD COUNTY, Ill. (WRSP) —
April's low-speed tractor chase that spanned two counties was all caught on camera by an Illinois State Police dashcam.
"It's the first time I've ever seen anything like that," Menard County Sheriff Deputy Chief Ben Hollis said.
"34 years and that was the first one I've seen,” Athens Police Chief Tim Becker said.
The pursuit lasted over an hour.
"He drove up over the levee and down it and drove on top of it,” Becker said. “I had $1,800 of damage on my squad car just from dings and dents and I lost my front license plate bracket and the license plate."
Police said the driver, Daniel Moose, led eight different law enforcement agencies through Menard and Sangamon Counties.
Officers said the biggest problem they faced was trying to find a way to stop the machinery.
"Pretty much any method that you think throughout your law enforcement career that you can use to stop a dangerous vehicle like that is out the window,” Hollis said.
"How do you stop something that large and has that much power that doesn't want to be stopped?" Becker said.
At first officers said they thought the driver was having a medical emergency, but his behavior quickly showed something else.
"As I got a little closer it swerved to the right and hit a mailbox and the mailbox flew through the air and then it came back on the road and swerved towards me and ran me off the road,” Becker said. “There's a shallow ditch and I had to drive out through the field to avoid being hit."
Eventually, the tractor rolled to a stop on the Sangamon Valley Trail.
“There was a narrow bridge and this tractor wouldn’t fit across it and luckily when he came to that he decided to stop instead of putting it in reverse and backing up,” Becker said.
While the situation may sound comical --
"It does sound funny when you hear yeah, we were chasing a tractor. You envision the farm tractor driving down the road with a bunch of squad cars behind it."
-- officers said it was anything but.
"That tractor's built to withstand harsh conditions,” Hollis said. “He could run over property, he could drive through stuff, he could have run over one of our cars and probably kept going. There was nothing even remotely minor about this situation."
Both Hollis and Becker said great communication during the chase helped prevent injuries because law enforcement would try to get ahead of the tractor to block off roadways.
The chase ended without any injuries.
Daniel Moose currently faces three felony counts: aggravated fleeing and eluding, aggravated driving under the influence and aggravated assaulting a peace officer.
We reached out to Moose's attorney, but he declined comments on the case since litigation is still ongoing.
Check out the full dashcam video here: