Catch & Release

Police chases create an inherent risk of death and injury 
to innocent bystanders and peace officers.

Research by Candy Priano


Did you know a judge always has the option to deny bail?

So, why aren't judges denying bail, especially to repeat offenders?


Innocent Bystander Killed
March 26, 2016: This guy is just another on the long list of catch and release criminals.... If police chase a suspect, the danger to bystanders in that particular ...Chase drivers who flee at 100-plus mph, catch them and within 48 hours or less, they are back on the street to do it again ... and again ... until an innocent person or officer is killed or injured.

The memorial bell rang out for fallen officer, CHP Officer Douglas Scott Russell, 46. He was deploying stop stick sticks to help apprehend a driver who often fled from police. The suspect was jailed in '92 for fleeing cops and fled again in December 5, 2006. The date of this deadly pursuit: July 31, 2007.

Begs the question: "Aren't these suspects who flee flight risks?"
Suspects are sometimes released before officers finish their paperwork, or they are readily released on their own recognizance, or they get out on bail in less than 48 hours after being caught. 
Begs another question: Why chase?


Utah: Chase ends with a familiar suspect in custody
Nearly one week after bonding out of the Salt Lake County jail, a 20-year-old man was accused of fleeing from Utah officers for the third time in a month—this time in a dramatic chase. Salt Lake Tribune, March 31, 2006

Indiana: Suspect in pursuit that left child pinned under van had fled police earlier Posted on policeone.com - March 29, 2006


California's new law that increases penalties
On January 2006 California's new pursuit law took effect that included stricter penalties. I tracked 4 suspects who were caught in 3 separate chases: Two were released on bail. One (a passenger with an air pistol and suspected in some burglaries) was released on his own recognizance. One couldn't make bail. All four chases occurred in January 2006 and finally this month (March 2006) they are having their court dates. (Update: Court dates were again postponed, so three of the four are still free.)

What's changed since 2002? Not much. When Kristie Priano, an innocent bystander, was killed in 2002, we learned that that officers, within hours of the chase, sent the fleeing driver home with their mothers. The judge sentenced her to one year in juvenile hall and three years free on probation. If we know many of these suspects don't spend time behind bars, certainly trained police officers know it, too.


DelawareCaught in another vehicle pursuit
Suspect arrested after a pursuit March 2, 2005. Suspect must have gotten out of jail because he then eluded police after a short vehicle pursuit November 29, 2005, and was caught on March 8, 2006, following another high-speed pursuit. It would be interesting to see how long he'll be in jail this time.

IndianaCouple Involved in chase released from jail
The two were driving a stolen truck when it collided with another truck at an intersection. Two innocent people in that car were taken to the hospital.


Fugitive captured Monday is re-arrested Wednesday. Stories ran in the Chico Enterprise-Record July 20 & 22, 2004

These officers stopped the chase and caught the suspect later in the day on Monday. The suspect was released less than 48 hours after making bail, so he could be caught again on Wednesday. From the news story: Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force Commander Vic Lacey said a chase ensued and the known suspect ran several stop signs and stoplights before the chase was called off, with officers tailing him from a distance.

"Officers knew who he was," Lacey said. "It wasn't worth him running over someone." 

However, if officers continued tailing the suspect from a distance, they did not call off the pursuit.