NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – During high-speed chases, police usually place spike belts on the road to flatten a suspect’s tires. However, what you don’t often see is the damage they can do to other cars that happen to be driving on the freeway at the same time as the guy making his getaway.
Earlier this month, New Mexico State Police tried to end a high-speed chase with a suspected truck thief. Officers deployed spike belts across westbound I-40 near Tucumcari. The stolen pickup wasn’t the only one that ran over the spike belt. “I got the UPS truck but I got him we’re good,” an officer said.
Spike belts are a common tool for law enforcement officers. Recently NMSP successfully deployed the tire deflation device to slow down a shooting suspect west of Albuquerque. Every now and then officers slow themselves down. “We spike belt our own people sometimes our officers have spike belted themselves,” said Lt. Mark Soriano.
Soriano says officers train on the spike belts in the police academy. With heavy traffic on the interstates and innocent drivers suddenly finding themselves in the middle of a police chase, officers do their best to yank those spike belts off the roadway after they’ve hit their target. “Our officers make every effort to avoid deploying the devices in a manner that could damage the tires of any uninvolved vehicle,” said Soriano.
NMSP State police say they do pay for damages to vehicles that become unintended victims of the spike belt.