An intense police chase that spanned two counties in Kentucky and ended with guns drawn took an unexpected turn — when the police chief hugged the driver, footage shows.
The pursuit began when the woman, identified by cops as Latrece Curry, was shaken after a domestic dispute with her husband and fled the home before cops arrived.
When a deputy tracked her down, she sped off, sparking a hot chase Wednesday involving multiple police cars, Chief James Richardson said.
The pursuit came to a high-stakes end when Curry, 41, eventually pulled over in a parking lot in Hodgenville to avoid a roadblock.
Officers then approach the car with guns drawn, yelling at the suspect to get out of her vehicle, bodycam footage shows.
But as Richardson slowly moves closer, pointing his firearm at her through the car window, the mood suddenly changes.
“I got to the driver’s side door and told her to unlock the door, she had her hands up, she was shaking like a leaf. I mean the poor girl, when I opened the door it was like a look of sheer terror. She was scared to death,” Richardson told The Post.
Richardson then put his gun back in his holster and told her to “calm down, you’re okay,” bodycam footage shows.
“Of course we had guns, guns pointed at her, so I just tried to calm her down. She was shaking so bad she couldn’t get her seatbelt off, so I helped her get her seatbelt off,” he recalled.
“I didn’t perceive her as a threat, she didn’t have any weapons. I took control of her hands, she started crying. She reached out and hugged me and I just kind of hugged her back,” the police chief said.
Curry was later taken into custody and charged with fleeing police, endangerment and traffic violations, the department said.
“Her statement to me was she was just in the zone, she didn’t know what she was doing and she was extremely sorry. She had no criminal record to speak of, had never been in trouble that I know of. She just made a really bad choice,” Richardson told The Post of her arrest.
Richardson said it was the first time a pursuit had ever ended in a hug in his 23 years on the job — but it is a “great example of keeping your emotions in check at the end of a pursuit.”
“Compassion is a good thing to have, especially in policing. With everything going on in the world today, everybody makes mistakes,” he said.
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